Puddle Science

Puddle Science

With spring rains there are often puddles of rainwater around. Is there any science that could be done with a puddle?

Find a puddle you can observe. Make sure an adult knows where you are going and that the puddle is not going to be dangerous to study. If the puddle is more than a couple of inches deep or the land near it is a steep slope, the puddle would not be a good one to study. Also if it is too near car traffic it will not be a good one to visit.

What To Look For

How big is the puddle? Can you think of a way to measure it? Does it stay around very long if there is no more rain? How long does it stay? Where does the water go when the puddle disappears? 

If it is on a sidewalk or other hard surface, outline it with chalk and see how its size and shape change. Does its size change whenever it rains?

Keep a journal about the puddle. Make a rain gauge to help find out how much rain is needed for it to form.

Do any creatures live in the puddle? If the puddle lasts very long it may become the home of seed shrimp or mosquito larvae

Do any birds use the puddle to hunt for food or to bathe?

Sometimes in the spring, pine trees and other plants shed a lot of pollen that blows around in the wind. This can show up as as powder floating on the surface of puddles. This powder is often green or yellow in color. Does any show up in your puddle? 

When the light is right, a puddle can be a mirror showing nearby trees or other objects. Does your puddle do this? Are the images in the puddle right side up or upside down?

Make a little boat from paper or foil or just a stick and sail it in your puddle. Does your boat move across the puddle? Why or why not?

What does the spot look like after the puddle is gone? Can you still tell where it was? Why?

What other questions can you think of about your puddle that you could answer by observing?
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