How Surface Area Affects Evaporation


Scientific Inquiry Performance Tasks

Task Author: Judy T. Sweeney
Task Title: How Surface Area Affects Evaporation
Grade Level: 3 Foss Kit Title Water Activity #3
Earth/Space Science Grade3 benchmark

Brief Overview of Task:
Students will design an investigation exploring how surface area affects evaporation.

Targeted Benchmark:
Identify and describe examples of change over time.

Recommended Prerequisite Student Knowledge and Skills:
* Introduce the students to the properties of water including wet, clear, surface tensions, soaks into some materials and flows down a slope.
Investigate freezing and warming water, evaporation and condensation
Introduce or reinforce your students understanding of scientific inquiry including the following skills: observation, data collection, measurement, graphing, scientific questions.

Materials Needed:
Materials Generally Available:
*different sizes of containers from the measurement kit (lids, cups, bowls, saucers, glasses) Plan for at least 4 containers for each student or group of students. Include graduated cylinder, beaker, dome lid and flat lid from the Foss water kit.
*measurement tools
Items you must provide that are not in the kit:
*water, paper towels for cleanup
*grid paper

Citation and Helpful Resources: (i.e. books, web sites, etc.)
Cole, Joanna, The Magic school Bus at the Waterworks, Scholastic, New York,1986
Serfozo, Mary, Rain Talk, Scholastic, New York, 1990
Wick, Walter, A Drop of Water, Scholastic, New York, 1997
Water, the Source of Life, Voyages of Discovery, Scholastic 1995
Water, Precious Water, AIMS Activities, AIMS Education Foundation, Fresno CA 1988

Recommended Classroom Time: (in hours)
3 Class Periods (30-45minutes each)
Introduction- Set up investigations
Students investigate and measure water
Students write up investigations and graph results

Detailed Description of Task for Teachers:
After your students have completed activities 1 and 2 in the Water Foss Kit, ask them what they know about evaporation. Write what they have learned through their investigations with water. Lead them to questions they have about evaporation. Read pages 6-8 in Water Vapor. If you want your students to use the worksheet, make copies of it.

Detailed Directions for Students to Follow:
The students must develop a procedure to answer a question using scientific inquiry. The question is “In my classroom investigation, what container will allow water to evaporate the fastest?” “If ….., then…….”

1. Using the materials given to you in class, your task is to use scientific inquiry to determine in which container water evaporates the fastest.

2. You will need to conduct your scientific investigation using the materials in our classroom. As you design your investigation think about which factors will vary in your study? Which will stay the same?

3. List in order the steps you will use. Make sure that your procedure is detailed so that someone else could follow it easily.

4. Construct a data table or chart to record your observations and results.

5. Perform the investigation following the steps you have written. Write down measurements, any observations and changes in your procedure.

6. Write an interpretation and analysis of your results.


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