Friday, July 15, 2011

Pascal and Liquid Pressure

Chapter 2 of Liquids and Gasses has lots of fun water experiments.  Because the weather was not conducive to being in it, we used the bathtub.  We punched holes in a milk jug and watched the water shoot out father from the bottom hole than the top hole.  We also poked a hole in the bottom of one cup and the side of another to demonstrate that pressure is in all directions.  I thought this would be rather simplistic, but I underestimated boys' fascination with water.

The rest of the chapter we discussed.  The illustrations in the text are great, but I wanted to find or rig a container similar to what is pictured in the book with the connected water columns and the piston.  They got a basic understanding of the concept but I extended it to remind them that what they gain in strength they have to make up in distance, just like other simple machines.  A simulation or demonstration would have gone a long way here.

They really liked the tie in to hydraulics, amazed that this simple concept is used to create the brakes of a car.

They so enjoyed fluid mechanics that the following week one of the boys brought in a hydraulics kit that they spent the class exploring.  Something about boys and water...

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