Disequilibrium: Forming Clouds in the Classroom

by: Todd Hoover

This column shows how to use discrepant events to confront misconceptions. This month’s discrepant event allows students to model condensation, the portion of the hydrologic cycle in which water vapor condenses into liquid form and creates a cloud. By applying pressure, students slightly change the temperature to make the cloud disappear and reappear. The activity aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards’ MS-ESS2-4 that calls for middle level students to develop a model describing water cycles in Earth’s systems.

Grade Levels

Middle School


5E Earth & Space Science Inquiry Phenomena


Type Journal ArticlePub Date 10/1/2016Stock # ss16_040_02_18Volume 040Issue 02

NSTA Press produces classroom-ready activities, hands-on approaches to inquiry, relevant professional development, the latest scientific education news and research, assessment and standards-based instruction.

Learn More