This activity will demonstrate the process of evaporation and the factors which affect the rate of evaporation.

Time requirement: depends on your room environment. Could possibly take longer than 1 hour.



  1. Place one drop of water onto each of the four plates.
  2. Place one plate in direct sunlight, one plate in the coolest part of the room, and one plate down wind from the fan. On the fourth plate, spread out the drop of water as far as possible. Place that plate in an open area but not in direct sunlight.
  3. Record the temperature and time for the placement of each plate.
  4. Observe how long it takes each of the drops to evaporate (this could take a while depending upon your room environment).

Observation questions

  1. How long did it take for each drop of water to evaporate?
  2. Which drop of water evaporated the fastest? What reasons do you have for this?
  3. Which drop of water evaporated the slowest? What reasons do you have for this?
  4. Considering what you have observed, how might you get a drop of water to evaporate even faster? If time is available, you should try it!
  5. What happens to the water droplets after they evaporate?

Last updated: September 04, 1997
Joe Twicken / joe@nova.stanford.edu
Rob Wigand