The force of water!
- Half gallon paper milk carton (empty and washed out)
- Gallon of water
- Awl or 10p nail
- Masking tape
- Magic marker
- Pair of scissors
- Pad of paper and pencil to make notes
Do this experiment over the sink.
- Cut off the top of the milk carton.
From the bottom of the milk carton, measure up 1/2 inch and using the awl
or 10p nail punch a single hole in the center of the side of the
Measure up one inch from the bottom and punch another hole in the
Measure up two inches from the bottom and punch a third hole directly
above the other two holes.
Measure up four inches from the bottom and punch a final hole in the
center of the side.
NOTE: All holes should be the same size.
- Take a long piece of tape and tape up all four of the holes.
- Put the carton on the edge of the sink with the side with the holes
pointing toward the sink.
- Mark a line on the carton near the top. Always fill or refill the milk
carton with water to that line.
- Quickly remove the tape that's covering all the four holes. Watch what
happens. Measure how far away each of the steams hits the sink.
- Let all the water empty out. Watch what happens as the water
level drops. What happens to the steams of water?
- Now tape up all holes. Put the carton back on the sink edge. Refill the
carton and remove the bottom tape. Measure how far out the stream goes.
Retape the hole, and untape the next hole up; measure how far away the
stream goes. Refill the carton with water. Retape the second hole and
untape the third hole; measure how far away the stream goes. Refill the
carton with water to the same level as before. Retape the third hole and
untape the fourth hole; measure how far away the stream goes.
How far away did the streams of water fall from the carton. Was there a
difference between the stream from the water from hole the bottom than at
Here's why? Water has weight. The closer to the bottom of the carton, the
more water is above and the more weight is pressing down from above. The
more weight, the more water pressure. And the more water pressure, the
further away the stream will go and the faster it will go.
Hydroelectric facilities are built at the base of dams to take advantage of
the high pressure of the water at the bottom of a reservoir. The water
pressure is funneled through a tunnel through the dam called a penstock.
The water then is focussed on the blades of a turbine. Water pressure of
the water turns the turbine, and the turbine turns a generator making
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