I’m still on a quest to clean out my drafts folder before the new school year starts in a couple of weeks. As most of you know, last year I taught one section of physical science. When I announced to my math classes that we would be celebrating Pi Day, my science kids wanted to know if they could celebrate it as well. Many of my physical science kids were also in my Algebra 1 or Math Concepts classes, so I decided we would do something different.
I had recently attended a Steve Spangler workshop and had my mind blown by some of his amazing demonstrations. Seriously, if you ever have the chance to see Steve work his science magic, do it! I went to the workshop looking for ideas for my science class and walked away with more ideas for my algebra class!
I decided to kick class off with some floating water.
Steve suggests using drinking glasses or jars, but I decided to use plastic test tubes.
We also needed plastic water pitchers to tote water to our classroom (no science lab means no sink).
I did a quick demonstration for my students and then let them try it for themselves.
After everyone had a turn, I had my students return to their seats. I pulled out a pair of mason jars and asked my students if they thought we would be able to do the same thing with a larger container.
The class was pretty split. Some thought it would work. Others thought more water would mean more weight so the water would fall out.
MATH = LOVE RECOMMENDS…
A laminator is a MUST-HAVE for me as a math teacher! I spent my first six years as a teacher at a school with a broken laminator, so I had to find a way to laminate things myself.
I’ve had several laminators over the years. I currently use a Scotch laminator at home and a Swingline laminator at school.
I highly recommend splurging a bit on the actual laminator and buying the cheapest laminating pouches you can find!
I had two stations set up at the front of the room with a tub, water pitcher, jar, and do not remove card.
The student volunteer was instructed to follow the exact same steps I modeled.
Here they are:
- Pour the water in the mason jar. Fill it up as much as possible without it overflowing.
- Place the “Do Not Remove” card on top.
- Carefully turn over the jar.
- Remove your hand.
- Be amazed!
This is when things didn’t really go as planned. As my students were amazed that the trick had worked with the mason jar and a larger quantity of water, my “Do Not Remove” card accidentally fell off into the plastic tub.
And, the water didn’t fall out.
The class gasped. This was impossible. How was the water remaining in the jar? One student accused me of performing witchcraft and started making a move towards the door.
Of course, the student who was supposed to be following my every move decided to remove their card. The water rushed out into the tub. Now the class was even more confused.
At this point, I was feeling a bit guilty. The class was wanting to rush up and examine my mason jar to see what was going on. I shooed them back to their seats and invited the student volunteer to try the activity again using my mason jar. As soon as they saw my jar, they saw my secret.
Yes, there is a secret.
Before I could fully explain the secret, this happened:
Want in on the secret of how to make this work? Steve Spangler explains it best. Just remember what we learned from the above video. Don’t tip the jar to the side!
This was definitely a fun activity. The student in the above video didn’t have too hard of feelings over the experience because he begged to take the supplies to the office to show the secretary. He ended up demonstrating in front of the secretary, principal, librarian, and janitor! I had no clue until the principal called me aside later to tell me how cool my science activity was.
One warning about this activity. The resulting mess is massive!
More Activities for Teaching Science
- 26 Chemistry Foldables and Interactive Notebook Pages
- Borax Snowflake Christmas Ornaments
- How the Periodic Table Really Looks Activity
- Mix and Match Mass Mini Lab
- Spot the Safety Hazards Picture
- Draw an Atom: Before and After Activity
- Save Fred Activity
- Reviewing Observations and Inferences with Dinosaurs
- Chemical Accidents Lab Safety Activity
- Physical vs Chemical Changes Story
- Spot the Safety Hazards Story
- What Not to Do Laboratory
- Measurement Puzzlers
- Homogeneous vs Heterogeneous Color Coding Activity
- Chemistry Frayer Model
- How to Read the Periodic Table Poster
- Roman Numerals Poster
- Two Buckets Puzzle
- Ice Cream in a Bag Lab
- Covalent Compounds Bulletin Board
- Naming Compounds Manhunt Activity
- Atomic Theory Timeline Foldable Projects
- Conversation Hearts Lab for Valentine’s Day
- How Big is the Nucleus of an Atom?
- Chemistry Black Box Activity
- Metric Prefix Flashcards and Quiz
- Dimensional Analysis Shape Cards Activity
- Film Canister Density Challenge
- Element Quiz Generator
- Element Bingo Activity
- Substances vs Mixtures Sorting Activity
- Free Scientific Method Posters from Scholastic
- How Many Elements Can You Name Quiz
- Types of Chemical Research Foldable
- Branches of Chemistry Foldable
- States of Matter Foldable
- Matter vs Not Matter Card Sort Activity
- What is Chemistry? Mind Mapping Activity
- SI Units Posters
- Creating my Own Chemistry Certification Study Guide
- Periodic Table of Mistakes Dry Erase Activity
- Rube Goldberg Machine Projects
- Mole Poster – Avogadro’s Number
- Diatomic Elements BrINClHOF Poster
- Prefixes Poster for Naming Covalent Compounds
- Mini Metric Olympics Activity
- Significant Figures Poster Project
- Hit the Target Lab
- Arithmetic with Significant Figures Task Cards
- Significant Figures Ordering Cards Activity
- Significant Figures Looping Cards Activity
- Significant Figures Stations Activities
- Significant Figures Two Truths and a Lie Activity
- Mini-Labs for Calculating Error and Percent Error
- Scientific Notation Dominoes Activity
- Scientifico – A Bingo Style Game for Practicing Scientific Notation
- Scientific Notation Square Puzzle Activity
- 8 Fun Scientific Notation Activities
- Significant Figures Speed Dating Activity
- Accuracy vs Precision Posters
- Significant Figures Posters
- Scientific Notation Ordering Cards Activity
- Scientific Notation Ranking Task
- Scientific Notation Foldable
- Scientific Notation Graphic Organizer
- Accuracy vs Precision Graphic Organizer
- Giantburgers Scientific Notation Task
- Error and Percent Error Foldable
- Mole Day Decorations and Ideas
- Periodic Table of the Elements Project