Thursday, July 16, 2009

Awesome Activities

Nate got into the large garbage bag. After a few movements, he discovered laying on the ground in a fetal position would be the best way to conduct the experiment. He used his hands to close the bag around his neck and shoulders. I proceed to turn on the shop vac and place the hose in a small hole on the side of the bag. After about five minutes, all the air was sucked out of the garbage bag. Nate began to try to move and could not. Nate being of about a 5' 7" height and an athletic build should have been strong enough to move in the bag--right?

To understand what was happening, we conducted a few more experiments. One was called the Spool and card. This is where you put a straw through a spool. You place the spool on an index card while your finger holds the card from the other side. Blowing as hard and long as you can, you release your finger and the card stays stuck to the spool for a few seconds. Not supposed to happen right? Another experiment included ping pong balls and a straw while another involved the folding of paper and blowing. With each experiment, what you would think would happen did not. After careful questioning by the facilitators, I was able to understand air pressure or the Bernoulli's principle. It states as the speed of a moving fluid increases, the pressure within the fluid decreases.

Reading the words was hard for me to understand but once I started connecting it to the experiements it became clear. This was one of the most amazing days of the institute. For the first time, I experienced the power of high inquiry in an academic setting. No one told me anything. Everyone just asked me questions and allowed me with my own vocabulary form my understanding.

1 comment:

Ms. Deason said...

What a great way to discover more about the power of pressure!