Updated: Apr 29
This fun evaporation art project is easy enough to do at home, and aligns with STEAM learning! STEAM education includes the Arts in its curriculum, in addition to the traditional four branches of STEM learning (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). While traditional STEM is great for developing critical thinking skills, creative hands-on learning encourages kids to make tangible things based on the concepts they learn, which directly deepens their understandings of STEM skills.
For example, within painting, kids learn elements of science (how mixing paint creates different colors), engineering (handling the paintbrush), and technology (working with different tools and materials). So without further ado, have fun learning from this STEAM evaporation art project!
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
Here's what you'll need to make awesome art from evaporated water:
Bowl of water
STEAM PROJECT: EVAPORATION ART
Before you get started, it's important to note that a craft becomes a STEAM project when it has kids following the scientific method: Question, Make Predictions, Experiment, Gather and Analyze Data. Pause after each stage and ask your child about their questions, predictions and findings.
STAGE 1: QUESTION & MAKE PREDICTIONS
This project will answer a simple question: "Where does water go after it rains?" Before you get to the fun artsy stuff, encourage your kid to think about this, and come up with their own answer. Have them write their prediction on a piece of paper. After the project, they'll learn if they were right!
STAGE 2: EXPERIMENT
Now for the fun part! Follow along to learn about evaporation by creating some funky art:
Squeeze enough water onto the middle of your watercolor paper to create a small puddle. Place the piece of paper in a sunny spot.
Trace the outline of the puddle with a crayon.
Set your timer for one hour. After an hour, return to the puddle. Did the puddle change shape? Use a different color crayon to trace it again.
Note: Make a color key on the side of your paper that shows the order of colors used to draw around the puddle.
Repeat this process throughout the day until the puddle completely disappears. Notice how the tracings around the puddle became smaller and changed shape throughout the day. And the paper is dry!
So... where did the water go? You can learn later on why this is the case. For now, take a well-earned break and use your water colors to paint in the rest of your masterpiece! You can paint between the crayon lines, or get funky with it.
STAGE 3: GATHER AND ANALYZE DATA
So, where did the big puddle go? Why did it get smaller and change shape throughout the day? The paper is dry, so the water can't be inside. Where did the water go?
Heat from the sun turned the liquid puddle into vapor. This process is called evaporation. The shape of the puddle got smaller because as time passed, more and more water evaporated in the sun. The same thing happens outside after it rains. Eventually, all the puddles and moisture on the ground will dry up in the sunshine!
Note: Ask your child what they think will happen to the little puddles of watercolor paint they used over time.
BENEFITS OF INCLUDING ART IN STEM LEARNING
Studies from the University of Florida show that compared to children who do not participate in the arts, those that do:
Score an average of 61 points higher on verbal tests
Score an average of 42 points higher on math tests
Are 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement
Build stronger interpretive skills
Develop deeper understandings of science, technology, engineering and mathematics through hands-on learning and reinforcement
Develop stronger social skills, and adaptability to new situations
LOOKING FOR MORE STEAM ACTIVITIES?
We at IDEA Collective believe that arts and crafts are essential in childhood development. Other than making learning traditional STEM subjects more fun, it also deepens critical reasoning skills, advances adaptability to unfamiliar concepts, strengthens social skills, and encourages using creativity to put their knowledge into action.
That's why all of our MakerKid Kits follow STEAM curriculum standards by teaching kids about STEM topics with hands-on and creative play. Check out more articles about STEAM activities you can do at home on our blog!