Fascinating Experiments

Tornado-in-a-Bottle

Materials

  • 2 x 2L pop bottles (empty)
  • Water
  • Food colouring
  • Glitter, beads or other small decorative items (optional)
  • Masking or duct tape (optional: purchase a bottle connector from an educational supply store)

Procedure

  1. Fill one of the pop bottles, leaving a few inches of space at the top.
  2. Put a few drops of food colouring into the bottle.
  3. Add any glitter, beads or other small decorative items.
  4. Connect the two bottles at their necks, using masking or duct tape, or a purchased bottle connector.
  5. Turn the attached bottles over, while gently rotating the entire assembly. Observe and record what happens!

 Tornado-in-a-Bottle
Click for larger image

Ontario Curriculum Links

Grade 2

Science and technology: Understanding Matter and Energy

  • Properties of Liquids and Solids
    • Investigate the properties of liquids
    • Identify objects in the natural and built environments as solids or liquids
    • Describe the properties of solids and liquids

Science and technology: Understanding Earth and Space Systems

  • Air and Water in the Environment
    • Investigate, through experimentation, the characteristics of air
    • Investigate, through experimentation, the characteristics of water

Grade 6

Science and technology: Understanding Structures and Mechanisms

  • Flight
    • Use scientific inquiry/experimentation skills to investigate the properties of air

Grade 8

Science and technology: Understanding Matter and Energy

  • Fluids
    • Use scientific inquiry/experimentation skills to identify factors that affect the flow rates of various fluids

Quebec Curriculum Links

Elementary Cycle Two

Science and Technology: Earth and Space

  • Matter
    • Properties and characteristics of matter on Earth
      • Soil, water and air

Elementary Cycle Two and Three

Science and Technology: Earth and Space

  • Systems and Interaction
    • Meteorological systems (e.g., clouds, precipitation, storms) and climate

Suggestions for Art Activities

Have students draw pictures of their own tornado-in-a-bottle. Make it a multimedia project by having them glue glitter, beads, sequins and other small items to the picture.

Print colour-copies of our tornado-in-a-bottle and experiment with collage techniques. Give students photographs of themselves, so that they can really get “into” the picture!

Have students observe their tornado-in-a-bottle and write down the words that come to mind (e.g., rushing, swirling, etc.), then have them write a poem inspired by their science.

What else could your class do with a tornado-in-a-bottle? We can’t wait to see what they come up with!

Share and Win!

Send us photos or videos of the masterpieces your class creates, and you’ll be entered in a draw to win a free school program at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. Draw to be held January 31, 2015. The winning teacher will be notified by email in early February.

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