March 5th, 2024

Science Smarts: They huffed and they puffed

By Patty Rooks on January 20, 2024.

It has been a busy few weeks as we are getting back into the “swing of things” after the winter break!

This time of year is also so exciting as I am working with SO many students on their Science Fair projects. The level of inquiry and leaning these students do each and every week is absolutely amazing!

I cannot wait to see their projects at the Virtual and Regional Science Fair in March. With that being said, I had a question about Bernoulli’s Principle. I hope this helps my young scientist friend. Let’s get started!

*Remember to ask an adult before doing this experiment.

Materials

– Funnel

– Ping-pong ball

– Scissors

Procedure

1. Drop the ping pong ball into the funnel.

2. Hold the funnel directly over your head and blow into the small end.

3. The objective is to blow the ball out of the funnel.

4. Blow hard and steady. Be careful you do not pass out from blowing too hard!

5. Are you able to blow the ball completely out of the funnel?

What is going on?

It should have been impossible for you to blow the ping-pong ball out of the funnel. This is because the passage of air around the ball makes it jump and bounce, but the ball will not be able to leave the funnel.

The ball will not leave the funnel because the air you blow into the funnel surrounds the ball; it does not push the ball up and out of the funnel. The ball will jump up and around in the funnel. At times, it may even appear as if the ball is going to jump out of the funnel. No matter how hard you blow, the ball will not be able to leave the funnel.

In this experiment, you were also testing a principle known as Bernoulli’s principle. Bernoulli’s Principle states that: the faster the flow or air, the lower the pressure. Try researching Bernoulli’s Principle to find out how this principle can be applied to such things as how an airplane can fly.

We have a few spaces for our Operation Minerva Conference on Jan. 30. This is open to ALL grade nine girls that are interested in STEM. It is a day of STEM with mentoring and hands on workshops. Send me an email and I will get you an application – NOTE: space is limited!

Patty Rooks, senior scientific consultant PRAXIS, “Connecting Science To The Community.” Contact Praxis at praxis@praxismh.ca, praxismh.ca, Tweet or follow us @PraxisMedHat, or friend us on Facebook. Address: #12 826 11th St. SE, Medicine Hat, AB T1A 1T7 Phone: 403-527-5365, email: praxis@praxismh.ca.

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