Air Is Everywhere!

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Updated on Feb 09, 2012

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

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

  • 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.

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

(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


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

Angela Pike has been in the world of elementary education for almost a decade, working as a classroom teacher, school writing specialist, and later a school administrator. After a recent leave from the education realm to stay at home with her children, she channeled her passion for education, science, and writing into a composing articles and educational activities for various companies.

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