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These activities will demonstrate that heating air will cause air to rise and become a low-pressure area.
The Soda Bottle Crush
Activity One - Pop Goes the Balloon
Depending on how many air molecules there are in a given space depends on how much air pressure there will be in that space. As stated previously, the air pressure on Earths surface (at sea level) is about 15 pounds per square inch. However, the air pressure above Earths surface gradually gets less and less the higher the air is because there are fewer air molecules packed together in the same amount of space. The weight of the molecules stacked on each other are not as great in the upper atmosphere as they are on Earths surface.
But, can air pressure in a given area be reduced at or near Earths surface? If it can, what is the outcome? Whenever something gets hot (such as by the sun, a burner or, a flame) itin turnheats the air and the air rises. The reason it rises is the air molecules spread out causing fewer air particles existing in that given area. When there are fewer air particles in a given area a low pressure is created. The air rises like a bubble in water because the air is now lighter. The air farther out that is not being affected by the heat has a higher pressure than the air around the candle. Therefore, this outside air having more pressure moves into the lower pressure. Whenever a high-pressure area meets a low-pressure area, the high pressure will always move into the low area. These differences in air pressure are what cause air masses to move and create weather.
1- Use Science Process and Thinking Skills
3- Understand Science Concepts and Principles
Invitation to Learn
The Soda Bottle Crush
Explain to the students that air pressure at any location changes over time. Sometimes air can be a high pressure area and sometimes it can be in a low pressure area depending on how much air is in a given area. As stated in the background information, heating air will cause the air to rise and become a low-pressure area.
Show the following experiment to the students. Tell the students to observe what is happening. The only words that will be spoken are by the teacher telling what he/she is doing. The students are to write in their journals what the teacher is doing and write down what they are observing.
Activity OnePop Goes the Balloon
With the following experiment, we want to show that when a low pressure area is created, a high pressure area surrounding the low pressure will rush into that area. We are actually going to see the air pressure actively pushing into a low pressure area.
Townsend, J., Bunton, K., (2006). Indicators for inquiry. Science and Children, Volume 43 (Number 5), Page 37
The National Science Education Standards specifically state that students should be able to observe simple objects and patterns and report their observations. When inquiry is involved with a hands-on approach, the topics cater to the natural curiosity of children and allow them to use a wide range of investigation and science-process skills. As children explore, the teacher can provide some guiding questions that may lead the way.
Heuser, D., (2005). Inquiry, science workshop style, Science and Children, Volume 43 (Number 2), Page 32
A good science workshop inquiry mode should be in three parts:
Ketch, A., (2005). Conversation: the comprehension connection. The Reading Teacher, Vol. 59 (Number 1), Page 8
Students who engage in conversation in the classroom become reflective thinkers. Conversation brings meaning to life as they contemplate to understand our complex world. Conversation is the comprehension connection. There are literature circles, book clubs, whole-class discussions, pair/share, small-group discussion, and individual conferences.