Investigating the Water Cycle

Water ecoSTEM Kit Materials Used: Hubbard Scientific Water Cycle Model

ENGAGE - Students Observe This Phenomenon


GATHER Energy Investigations


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EXPLORE a Kit-Supported Learning Experience

Students will use the Hubbard Scientific Water Cycle Kit to create a working model of the water cycle, driven by the sun, including all three physical states of matter and changes of state (processes). Note: a heat lamp (or lamp with incandescent bulb) and ice are needed, per directions.


Students should be able to  draw and label the water cycle processes and identify the two major forces or factors that drive the cycle. (Hints: Without these forces, the processes would stop. What adds energy to the system and makes evaporation happen? What makes water flow downward?)


Students should be able to identify all the processes in this different, unnarrated NASA phenomenon video.

This diagram from NOAA and this explainer video from NASA  will introduce vocabulary for the processes, in context.


Students may view this video on the use of shade balls in a Los Angeles reservoir and then diagram how the balls disrupt the water cycle and limit chemical reactions in water treated with chloride. In addition, students may revise their cycle drawings to show anthropogenic impacts.



After making sense of a core idea by engaging in science or engineering practices through the lens of crosscutting concepts, students revise their original explanations of a phenomenon.


Students will design a tree planting project since tree roots reduce erosion and trees store water as part of the water cycle.