The Virtual Classroom: Under Pressure

Science teacher Becky Hutchins used everyday objects from her kitchen to teach her students all about air pressure. In one demo she attempted to blow up a balloon inside of a bottle. Students learned that one was unable to inflate the balloon because the bottle was already filled with air. Once a hole was poked in the bottle and some of the air escaped, it was possible to inflate the balloon.

In another experiment called the kissing balloon demo, Becky demonstrated that moving air has less pressure than air that is still.  She blew air in between two balloons, trying to blow them apart. The faster the air moved between the balloons, the lower the air pressure in that space. The high pressure surrounding the balloons pushed the balloons together. The curved surface of the balloon also makes the air travel faster, causing even lower pressure as the air rushes around the edge of the balloon.

Students then participated in a questions and answer session using Pear Deck. They were also able to answer through the Zoom chat or by speaking through their microphones.

“Pear Deck is an extension to my Google slides presentation that allows me to make my slides more interactive,” Becky explained. “Students can answer open-ended questions, multiple-choice questions, they can also draw on slides (as they did with their guesses for what they thought might happen to the two balloons.)”

After Becky’s demonstrations, students brainstormed experiments they could do at home and discussed their ideas together as a class. You can watch two of their experiments by selecting the links below:

Inflating Balloon

Balloon Hovercraft


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