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NOW I'M IN TROUBLE!

Observe the condensation of water on glasses of ice water.
How many times did that occurrence get you into trouble with
Mom? Next time you ruin a table or other nice wooden surface
by leaving a glass with ice or cold beverage, just tell Mom
you were doing a scientific experiment. That'll make her
happy about having a piece of furniture destroyed...

Discuss how that happens and the source of the droplets. Can
you foresee that phenomenon? I'll bet Mom can!

Don't the kitchen windows at home get "steamed up" when Mom
cooks? Especially in winter? Is it the same kind of thing?
Why is it that when the windows get steamed up and you draw
happy faces on them with your fingertips, the steam goes away
but the happy faces are on there forever? That makes Mom
angry, too, doesn't it?

Do all these kinds of things irritate Mom? Probably what
irritates her is the fact that we try to have an effect on
nature by doing this kind of stuff. The truth is that we
cannot change the activities of Mother Nature; we can only 
learn to deal with it as non-destructively as possible.

On a very cold day go outside and observe how the moisture
from your breath can be seen when it comes in contact with
the cold outdoor air. Similarly, exhale across a tray of
ice cubes or into an open freezer. You will realize that
this phenomenon takes place when moist air comes in contact
with cooler air or a cooler surface.

Under adult supervision, boil some water in a pot, beaker, or
tea kettle on a hot plate, or on the kitchen stove at home.
When the water boils, step back and see what happens. You
can now understand, and describe what you see.

You will see clouds of moisture forming as the heated moist
air rises in the cooler air of the room. The clouds of moisture are called "steam." Keep in mind that steam can cause severe burns. Stay away from it!

Imagine how warm moist air near the earth rises and cools in
the atmosphere in a similar way. How does it cool? Rising
air cools at the rate of 1 degree F for every 300 feet in the
atmosphere.

Describe other personal experiences with condensation, such
as moisture on a bathroom mirror, moisture on windows in a
closed automobile. Envision yourself riding in the car on a
morning that is so cold your eyeballs itch. After a few
minutes in the car, the windows steam up and the driver can't
see. What does the driver do? Puts cold air onto the wind-
shield to make the windows clear; and it works!

Then it really makes you feel cold! Don't cry; your eyeballs
will freeze for certain. And your teeth will turn blue. And
elephants will fly.

This project will teach you, if nothing else, not to believe
everything you see in print!


 
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