January 25th, 2022

Science Smarts: Tricky science

By PATTY ROOKS on January 15, 2022.

I think being cooped up inside due to the cold weather the past few weeks has me feeling a bit mischievous! There is nothing better than a good science experiment that not only teaches, but also plays a trick on the audience. Let’s get started!

Remember to ask an adult before doing this experiment.


• Empty 500ml plastic water bottle with a lid

• Outdoor location or sink to work over (if you do not want to make a mess)

• Water

• Tack

• Science helper


• Before your science helper comes in to help you: fill the water bottle up ALL the way to the top – squeeze every last bit of water in there.

• Place the lid on TIGHTLY.

• Using the tack, and on the bottom of the bottle, make a row of holes ALL the way around. Do not worry; it is not going to get messy yet!

• Ask your science helper to come in now.

• Hand them the water bottle and ask them to take a drink. Hint; now is when it could get messy.

• Observe.

What is going on?

Once your science helper removed the lid from the bottle, they should have got completely drenched from the water shooting out of all the holes on the bottom of the bottle. How can this happen you may wonder? Well, science is at play here.

When the lid is on the bottle, the air pressure (which we cannot see) is exerting a force on all sides of the bottle and when working with the force of gravity, it essentially keeps the water inside. It is not able to escape out of the holes…yet. Once you open that lid, air is able to rush into the bottle and gravity is able to pull the water out! Note: you should apologize to your friend for tricking them! I hope they were a good sport for the sake of science.

I am looking forward to seeing all of my students start their science fair projects soon. If you need any help in your classroom, never hesitate to reach out – I would love to see your class (virtually or in person).

Patty Rooks, Senior Scientific Consultant PRAXIS, “Connecting Science To The Community”. Contact Praxis at praxis@praxismh.ca, http://www.praxismh.ca, Tweet or follow us @PraxisMedHat, or friend us on Facebook. Address: #12 826 11 Street S. E., Medicine Hat, Alberta, T1A 1T7 Phone: 403-527-5365, email: praxis@praxismh.ca.

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