Air is a tricky subject to teach to all children regardless of age but this experiment will begin to teach children that air is not only around us but it can also be manipulated depending on the structure.
• Blocked Air
• Air Travel
• Air Movement
• Air Currents
• Air Flow
• One strip of paper that measures 1in by 3in (2.5cm by 7.6cm)
• Small square box
• Large square box
• One 1-liter bottle
• One 2-liter bottle
• One Cylinder (optional)
1. Introduce the materials, preferably after you have read one of the books that we recommended.
2. Discuss the materials and ask them to make predictions on how you will be using the materials and what they feel the outcome of the experiment will be.
3. Set up the strip of paper on a table and tape one end down to the table (the one that is furthest from you.)
4. Ask one child to blow on the paper. What happens? The paper should flutter.
5. Now ask the children to predict what will happen if you place an item in front of the paper.
6. Set up a box or a bottle and have a child blow on the object (not on the paper).
7. Talk about what happens. With the curved objects, the wind will move around the curved surface and the paper will flutter.
8. Repeat with the different objects.
Questions to ask:
What do you think will happen to the paper if we blow on it?
Why do you think the paper moved when we blew on it?
What do you think will happen if we place a box in front of the paper?
What do you think will happen if we place a bottle in front of the paper?
Why do you think the paper fluttered with the bottle but not the box?
Do you think the paper will flutter with a bigger bottle?
Things to do:
Document predictions that the children make and the final outcome of the experiment.
Have the children document the experiment themselves with drawings or models. Show them how to use arrows to show air currents.
Although this experiment is fairly straight forward, you can expand on the experiment by having the children place different objects in front of the paper to see if it is just curved objects that separates the air. You could also attach a curved object to a table and place a strong fan in front of it. Have the children place their hands on the sides of the curved object to feel the air currents running along the bottle. Try the same experiment with a large box. Do they feel wind on the sides and back of the box? Lastly, try using the airzooka, from the first experiment to determine if it changes the air flow.