Register with GEF for FREE to enjoy these great benefits! 

    • member only contests and raffles

    • sustainability program news and updates

    • significant discounts at GEF Institute

Note: If you have problems registering, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Taking a GEF Institute Course? Login by clicking here.






Join Us

Sign Up for National Green Week!
Please note: Your privacy is very important to GEF. We do not share or sell any of your data.  It is with the sole purpose of providing you with relevant information that GEF will contact you.

Welcome to the Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Here, you can find free sustainability lessons to use in your class and upload your own lessons to share. Be sure to rate the lessons you use and leave comments for your colleagues!

All of GEF's lessons and programs are offered at no cost.  Become a member to support GEF and enjoy member only benefits! 
Join button_03

Professional Development

GEFinstitute LOGO_WEB GEF Institute offers affordable, online sustainability courses eligible for professional development or academic credit.
Give your resume a boost!

Sponsor a Teacher

Support educators in your community by helping them earn a Certificate in Sustainability or take an online course. Find out more about sponsorship!
Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Rain Machine

Lesson Description:
Working in groups, students build simple solar stills filled with salt water and observe what happens when the stills are placed in the sun. The students then taste the water they have collected and discuss what has happened in their stills.
Lesson Type:
  • Group Work
  • Project

Sustainability Topic:
  • Ecosystems
  • Energy
  • Water

GEF Program Category:
  • Sustainable Water Challenge

Time Needed:
1 hour
Standards Addressed:
National Standards: K-4
  • PRI-A: 1.b. Plan and conduct a simple investigation.
  • PRI-B: 1.c. Materials can exist in different states-solid, liquid, and gas. some common materials, such as water, can be changed from one state to another by heating or cooling.

Materials Needed:
  • handout included
  • bowl (one per group)
  • plastic cup
  • 2-3" shorter than sides of bowl or cut to size (one per group)
  • clear plastic food wrap 
  • tape or rubber band large enough to go around bowl (one per group)
  • small rock or weight (one per group)
  • salty water 

School or Group:
Florida Solar Energy Center
Contact Email:
Lesson Documents:
application/pdf solar_rainmachine.pdf
Located in: Science

The Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse is brought to you in partnership with

Center for Green Schools