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Air Is Everywhere!

based on 9 ratings
Author: Angela Pike

Grade Level: 3rd - 5th; Type: Physical Science

Objective: 

To provide evidence that air is everywhere and takes up space.  

Research Questions:

  • What properties does air have? 
  • How can you prove that air takes up space?
  • How can you prove that air has mass?

Air is everywhere! You might not be able to touch it or see it but it is all around us. Though invisible, you can easily see that air takes up space when you blow up a balloon. You can see the movement that it creates when a breeze blows through the leaves on a tree. 

Materials:

  • Scissors
  • Straight pin
  • Balloons (at least 2)
  • Water
  • Piece of cardboard
  • Ruler
  • Short, wide-mouth jar
  • String

Experimental Procedure:

(Two-part experiment) 

Part 1
  1. Inflate two balloons and tie them. Use string to tie a balloon on each end of the ruler. Tie a short string to the middle of the ruler so that you can hold the string to where the ruler is suspended.
  2. Move the balloons until the ruler is balanced. 
  3. Make a prediction of what will happen if one balloon is popped. Record your prediction.
  4. Pop one of the balloons using a straight pin. What happened to the ruler? Record your observation.
 
Part 2
  1. Trace the mouth of the jar onto the cardboard. Cut the cardboard larger than the diameter of the jar.
  2. Fill the jar half full with water. Place the piece of cardboard over the top of the jar.
  3. Make a prediction about what will happen when you turn the jar upside down. Record your prediction.
  4. Turn the jar upside down while you hold the cardboard tightly in place. Take your hand off the cardboard. What happened to the water? Record your observation. 
*What did these two experiments prove about air?  

Terms/Concepts: Air; Matter; Mass; Properties of matter

References:

Science Turns Minds On. (1995) New York: McGraw-Hill

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