Glove In a Jar: Demonstration of a Closed System

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Updated on Nov 18, 2013

Grade Level: Kindergarten to 2nd grade; Type: Physics


Demonstrate the relationship between the amount of stuff and the amount of pressure in a closed system.

Research Questions:

Because the rubber glove is stretched tightly around the rim of the jar not allowing anything - including air - to get in or out, the glove-in-the-jar is a closed system. The jar is completely filled with the glove and air. What happens when you try to put your hand into the glove in the jar?


  • One glass jar large enough to put your hand into (a big maraschino cherry jar from a bar works well)
  • One thick rubber glove (like the ones for washing dishes)

  1. Put your hand into the glove. How does it fit?
  2. Take off the glove and hang it into the jar with the fingers pointing down.
  3. Stretch and fold the wrist-edge of the glove over and around the rim of the jar.
  4. Now try to put your hand into the glove. How does it fit? it’s difficult because there’s no room left; the jar is already full! If you really try you can do it, but it’s hard – you feel a lot of pressure. You have to squish the air in the jar to make room for your hand.

Terms/Concepts: Closed System, Pressure

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