Sunday, June 13, 2010

Magic Air Pressure Pop Bottle Watering Can - Science For Kids

This spring, I gave the girls each a planter box, to use as their own little garden space. The rain has been generously watering their seeds, up until now. Now that the sunshine has arrived (hurray!), it's time to think about watering cans.

Rather than run out, and buy individual watering cans for each of the girls (because really, who could share such a thing!?!), I decided to let them make their own, using science.

We started with plain old, empty pop bottles, hammering a hole in the lids, and several holes in the bottoms.

The girls discovered, when they fill them with water, and put the lids on, the water will stream from the bottom, because air is getting into the bottles, and pushing down on the water, forcing it out of the holes....

...until they cover the hole in the lid. Then, the water stops pouring, because the air pressure outside the bottle is stronger than inside, and because the surface tension of the water, helps to seal the holes. You can read more about this, here, on Steve Spangler's site.

Even with the top hole covered, they still drip a little (we put a lot of holes in the bottoms of the bottles), so I wouldn't want them filling them in the kitchen, and then walking through the house with them. But, they work pretty well for getting water from the outside faucet... their gardens. And, they give that nice, gentle, sprinkle of water, that won't wash the dirt away from the seeds.

For more fun with science, check out this week's Science Sunday link-up at Adventures in Mommydom.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Phyllis said...

How cute and clever!

Debbie said...

I agree hurray for the sun! I like their watering cans, along with the science behind it.

Unknown said...

Very creative, and fun! I misplaced my watering can and went on a hunt. I could of just made one. Thanks for sharing.

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

How interesting - I know that the science is too advanced for Anna, but it's one of those little "wow" experiments that she tends to remember.

Ticia said...

I remember doing this as a kid.

And I was trying to figure out how I missed this post, and then I remembered how my computer decided to reboot last Sunday, and I lost all the websites I had open to look at later.

Susan Wells said...

Hi - I'm the editor for We LOVE your idea and would like to feature it on Steve's blog. I'm asking for your permission to borrow a picture or two for our post. If it's ok, please shoot me an email saying so.

Thank you!!

drip irrigation systems said...

It's very creative way to water the garden / plants. I'll try to teach my children to take care of our garden by way of preparing such a water funnel.