home Classroom Clues, New Teacher, Science at Home, Science Suggestions Simple Science at Home – Pressure

Simple Science at Home – Pressure

A drawing of a skull with a striped background Here’s the fifth in a series of fun, at home resources I want to share from Steve Spangler’s website.

He’s posting fifty experiments for fifty days starting yesterday 3/23/20. Check them out!

Other posts include

I tried to pick activities that worked for a variety of ages and with simple materials you might find at home. I suggest many extensions to challenge kids as they do science (and make the activity take a bit longer).


Soda Bottle Race – A bucket of water and an empty soda bottle are all you need for this activity.

Does it matter if you move the bottle clockwise or counterclockwise? What if it’s only half full of water instead of completely full? What if you put things into the bottle like buttons? Does that change your results? Can a person using this method empty a two-liter bottle by the time a person not using this method empties a one-liter pop bottle?

By repeating the activity and counting or timing how long it takes to empty the bottle completely you’re doing math and great science!

Huff and Puff – An empty soda bottle, straw, and wad of paper can be a great demonstration of air pressure.

Does it matter if the air is puffed softly? What if the straw is flexible or just straight? What if you used a wide straw or a narrow (coffee stirrer type) straw? What if you tilted the bottle slightly up or down? What if you use a piece of popcorn instead of a wad of paper?

Tornado in a Bottle – Two matching soda bottles, a tornado tube or duct tape, and water get you started on this water pressure activity.

What if: you turn it over slowly without giving it that first shake? you turn the bottle over slowly or quickly? you hold it at a slight angle? use a different liquid than water (see the video for this)? shake it up and down just after you turned it over? 

My First Tornado in a Bottle – You’ll find LOTS of variations here. Depending on your supplies you’ll be able to try several variations of the activity. Caution: take extra care with the lamp oil choice.