Everything Water

What is water vapor?


Water can exist in three different forms, and you're probably familiar with a couple of them. The one we usually think of is liquid water. That's the kind we drink! Water can also be solid when it is in the form of ice or snow. The third form isn't as easy to see because it's actually an invisible gas that is in the air. You're breathing some in right now!

When liquid water gets enough energy, often from heat, it gets very excited and escapes into the air! You've probably seen water's escape act when a grown-up boils water in a teakettle. When it's hot enough, you hear a whistle caused by steam. Steam is made up of mostly water vapor, but there's also some liquid water in it that gives it a slight white color that we are able see.

Water vapor is very important to the environment because without it, we wouldn't have rain or clouds! When water vapor cools in the sky, it becomes a liquid again. That liquid water forms the clouds that will soon rain down to the ground!


Where's Water?

Do you have any watercolor paints? Watercolors use a dry paint that you mix with water to make a wet paint you can use to make art! It can get pretty messy though so make sure you work at a craft table or lay down some newspaper before you start!

What will you paint? You can paint anything from yourself, to something in the room, to the wildest thing in your imagination! When you're done, you can't hang it up on the refrigerator right away. You'll have to wait for the paint to dry. Where do you think all the wet water from the paint goes when it's drying?


The Water Cycle. US Geological Survey. USGS Water Science for Schools.