© 2014 Little Learners, Big Ideas,  Innovate Kentucky and The Center for Gifted Studies at Western Kentucky University

Investigating Air Pressure

 

 

 

Explore Air Pressure with your little learner!

 

Our little innovator noticed that several of our toys (like our bubble machine and the ELEFUN game) used a fan to work. He wanted to test and see if he could make his own version by putting a tube on a fan to send a balloon in the air.  While he explored he made observations and wonderings throughout.  Eventually little brother even joined in on the fun! We learned we could control the direction with the fan on a lower speed and using a tube made out of a poster board.  Later, when we did this exploration with a group of teachers we learned that a ping pong ball inside the balloon allowed the balloon to float longer! The great thing about this type of exploration is that one answered question usually just leads to another wondering.  Our exploration started out with a fan and some balloons and ended up with flying balloon rockets across a piece of kite string.  Our younger innovator sat at the kitchen table and recorded our results with a red crayon and a sheet of notebook paper.  A sample lesson plan for this activity is in the top right corner.

 

Take a look at the photos below, as a wondering question, and go explore with your little learner! 

 

We also tried out these ideas featured on the blogs below.  

 

1.  Grab some straws, pipets, and rocket templates and learn through play with these strawrockets featured on Buggy and Buddy. There you can download a rocket template to create your own. 

 

2.  Frugal Fun for Boys (and girls) has an excellent idea for a paper airplane launcher. We spent hours designing and creating different types of airplanes and testing how far they flew. My little innovator also helped me design and build the launcher which gave us the opportunity to create and practice real world math together.  

 

These activities were planned using the ideas found in our six part video series, Little Learners, BIG Ideas.