Rain Studies

When they think of April, many people think of rain showers. What science can we do with rain?

First, think of some questions about rain and how they could be answered. Then try to set up some experiments to find out. Below are a couple of ideas, but your own are just as good.

Is April really a rainy month? Find out by keeping a record of the days that it rains. How many days does it rain? Is this more than half the days in the month? Is it more than other months? How could you find out?

How much rain falls? Make a rain gauge and keep track of the amount of rain every time it rains. Is rain a valuable resource? Click here for some information (upper elementary reading level).

Are raindrops always the same size? Put a tray or saucer of flour outside when it is raining. Bring it in after a few minutes. Carefully look at the wet clumps of flour where raindrops hit. Are they all the same size? Try this at different times, near the start of a rain fall, later in the shower, on different days. Can you use blotter paper or construction paper to see raindrop size?

What is the real shape of a falling raindrop? It would be hard to find out from your own experiments. Click here for a page which explains their shape and why they are not shaped like most of us think (adult reading level).

What is acid rain? Why is it a problem? Where is it a problem? Is your rain acid rain? How can you find out? For some background information, click here.

The USGS, United States Geological Survey has some more water science activities.
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