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Ag Experiment #3 Lift Water Air

Copied from the Daily Oklahoman, Weekly Reader activity.

There are lots of ways to move water around. You can carry it in buckets or move it through pipes with a pump. Here's an interesting way to pump water that's used in some aquarium tanks for fish:

You'll need:

  • Two coffee cups
  • Piece of wood about 2 cm (1 inch) thick
  • Large plastic straw
  • Thin straw or a hollow plastic coffee-stirring stick
  • Scissors

Do this:

"Do this experiment on a surface that water won't hurt."

  1. Fill one cup two-thirds full of water and put the other cup next to it, sitting on the 1 inch thick piece of wood.
  2. Cut the big straw in half, put one end in the water and lean it toward the empty cup.
  3. Gently bend the end of the small straw into a hook. (make several bends in the small straw instead of one big one so you don't pinch it closed)
  4. Slip the hooked end of the small straw into the bottom of the big straw.
  5. Blow very gently into the small straw.

What happened?

Air bubbles rise through the big straw and carry some water upward. When the water gets to the top of the straw, it flows out.  As long as you keep blowing, water will flow out of the top of the straw.

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