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Friday, November 11, 2011

Let students crush some cans!

Meteorologists make a really big deal out of pressure . . . and rightfully so. But atmospheric pressure is a tough concept for students wrap their minds around. I like to use a couple really fun demonstrations/activities to introduce the topic. Near the end of a class period, I show them the can-crush as a demonstration, and then the next day I let each student crush 2 cans. Also on that second day (our classes are 50 minutes), after they are finished crushing cans (15 minutes), I set them down and show them the spoutin' fountain demonstration . . . and then we discuss the science behind both activities. CLICK HERE to print out a copy of the teacher guide, which includes suggestions as well as questions to guide your discussion. CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube video of the spoutin' fountain demonstration. NOTE: As I do the "Spoutin' Fountain Demo", instead of using a clamp to hold the flask, I recommend handling it with heat-resistant gloves.

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