Friday, January 17, 2014

Air Pressure

Mr. Jack always comes up with something fun to do.  Little Man loves the third Thursday of the month!

The topic was air pressure.  What is it?  How do we know it is there?  What does it do for us?  All questions that Mr. Jack had experiments for the children to test. 

He had an empty bottle and placed a small wadded up piece of paper on the lip of the bottle he held on its side.  He challenged the children to blow the paper into the bottle.  Each time a child blew the paper, it went flying out of the bottle.  Over and over, they tried blowing the paper into the bottle. 

He blew up two balloons and attached them to a tube. When he pressed on one balloon, the other balloon became larger. 

He took a straw and placed it in a glass of water.  Next, he put his finger on the end of the straw not in the water.  When he removed the straw from the glass, the water was still in the straw. 

He showed them how to punch a straw into a potato.  He explained why it worked only when the thumb is placed over one end of the straw.  The children loved it!

He then left the children with a challenge.  To make an object that will fall slower than the piece of 11 x 14 inch of paper.  He demonstrated how the paper fell when held flat versus upright. 

He supplied the children with sheets of 11 x 14 inch paper, masking tape, and scissors.  They all began to build their devices.  Many different ideas filled the room.  What would they design? 

Different styles of parachutes filled the room.  Testing of the prototypes began.  Analyzing what just occurred.  Modifications began.  Frustration set in with some.  Why did the piece of paper always seem to to win? 

At the end, Mr. Jack explained to the children about surface area, size, and weight.  When he showed them that their creations did fall relatively slow compared to the masking tape roll, their sense of hope returned. 

This was a delightful lesson.  Bigger and fancier was not always better.  We can't wait till next month!