Earth science & astronomy science project

TORNADO IN A BOTTLE

Make a tornado in a bottle

RN: 10112601 - EARTH SCIENCE & ASTRONOMY > METEOROLOGY
Science projects and science experiments for grades 1 to 8

SUITABLE GRADES

7 & 8

Science projects and science experiments of various difficulty levels

DIFFICULTY

2

Science projects and science experiments from 12 hrs to months to complete

TIME REQUIRED

<24 hrs

Science projects and science experiments for kids

SUPERVISION

ADVISED

INTRODUCTION [METHOD]

Each year, close to a thousand tornadoes touch down in the United States, far more than in any other country. Three out of every four tornadoes in the world happen in the US and Nebraska, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas make up Tornado alley, where tornadoes strike regularly in the spring and early summer.

A tornado usually starts off as a white or gray cloud but if it stays around for a while, the dirt and debris it sucks up eventually turns it black. Tornados, also called 'twisters', are both fascinating and terrifying at the same time.

Fortunately scientists know a lot more about tornados than in the past and can, for the most part, predict when and where they will occur. In this science experiment we will create a 'whirlpool' tornado in a bottle to replicate the powerful vortex of tornado motion and learn how they move:

STUFF YOU NEED [MATERIALS]

  • BOWL
  • FUNNEL
  • 2x CLEAR PLASTIC BOTTLES
  • SUNFLOWER OIL
  • FINE SEEDS
  • MODELLING CLAY
  • DUCT TAPE
  • METAL SAW
  • WASHER

HOW TO PROCEED [PROCEDURE]

Earth science & astronomy science project - Meteorology
  1. In a bowl, mix together water and vegetable oil. Add about 2 teaspoons of very fine seeds and some food colouring to help observe the twisting motion of your 'tornado'.
  2. Remove the caps from both of two empty plastic bottles and use a metal saw to saw a groove in the neck of one of the bottles as in the diagram above.
  3. Place a funnel in the grooved-neck of the bottle and pour water into the bottle until it is about 3/5th full.
  4. Next, pour about 1/5th of the coloured oil solution that you made in 'step 1', into this bottle and leave the remaining 1/5th empty for air.
  5. ......
  6. ......
  7. ......
  8. ......
  9. ......
  10. Note: The e-book version of this experiment contains all the steps, conclusion (how it works) and lots of additional fun facts. We appreciate your support!

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