For several science lab classes students have been learning about the properties of air:
- air takes up space,
- moving air can make other things move,
- air can be compressed into a smaller space,
- air pressure can make things move.
Students have used small suction cups to experience how air presses against everything. After experimenting and determining the types of surfaces that suction cups will stick to, we got out a giant pair of suction cups. Once locked together, no one was able to pull them apart!
Next, we used small syringes to experience how trapped air can be compressed into a smaller space, and how that trapped air exerts a push against the plunger inside the syringe. Several students commented that that was how playground balls and tires worked.
Students made paper pinwheels that turned as the wind blew, and paper helicopters that rotate as they fall. Here’s a pattern with four different sizes so you can have helicopter races and see which size falls fastest.
Next lesson, Bubbleology!