One cool thing about homeschool is that if we get interested in something that is just talked about a little bit in one of our books, we can take the time to stop and study that area more. That is what we did in science class.
Zoology book, and there was a little part about how air pressure helps them to fly. So we decided to experiment and find out how that works. My mom always has lots of extra science experiments on hand, that she got from Super Charged Science, so we are always ready to really see how things work! (That's my favorite, because then sometimes we can skip more boring stuff for a couple days!)
What do you think will happen when Bird blows in between these two cans? We thought they would blow apart...and maybe fall off the counter!
But actually, the cans pushed together! How did that happen? Because when air moves, it makes the air pressure go low. So when Bird blows in the middle, the air pressure in the middle goes lower, so the air pressure around the outside of the cans stays higher, and pushes the cans together. Higher pressure always pushes!
Here is another example: We poked holes in the bottom of a water bottle, then we filled it with water. The water came out of the holes fast!
But when we put the top on, the water did not come out the holes!! What in the world??? Why doesn't the water keep coming out fast??? Well, when we put the top on the bottle, no more air can get in that way, and that makes the air pressure in there a little bit lower. So then the air pressure outside the bottle is higher, and it pushes the water to hold it up in the bottle. That's the same thing that happens when you get a soda at McDonalds and put your thumb on top of the straw and take the straw out and the soda stays in the straw. Very cool!
We wanted to learn more about air pressure and flying, so we decided to go visit the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.
This is me and my dad. We were looking at rockets. And I was nervous - when I looked down, I was scared, because we were up so high and we were beside just a glass wall!
At the museum we went to the discovery area to do more experiments and learn more about air pressure. At this part we had to try and see if we were stronger than air pressure. You pushed a button to let out the air inside, and that made all the air pressure on the outside go a lot higher. Then you had to pull the knob and see if you could open the door.
Bo pulled and pulled, but he was not strong enough. People think that a vacuum is when the lower air pressure inside is sucking the door down, but really, it's the higher pressure outside the door that's pushing the door down - Higher pressure pushes!
In this experiment it uses water instead of air - so we can see it better - and it shows how air moves around a wing. The way you move the wing changes the air pressure and can make the plane or bird go up or down or crash! If the air moves around the wing the right way, it will make the air pressure under the wing higher, and since higher pressure pushes, the plane or bird will be pushed up, up, UP...that's called "lift," by the way. In this picture I had the wing turned around the wrong way, so they were going to crash!
We also got to meet the Wright Brothers there! Well, not really, it was just a big picture of them. I'm wearing my Stonewall Jackson shirt in this picture. I love Stonewall Jackson because he's my favorite general. But he was for the Confederates, and I like the Union. But he was still a good man. I like Abraham Lincoln, too. Anyway, the Wright brothers invented the first airplane. They were from the United States of America - our country is awesome! There have been some great inventors from Europe, but the USA has had some great inventors, too.
This is a model of the Wright Brother's airplane. It's pretty different from the airplanes we have now. But they all have to follow the rules of air pressure, or they will crash. Anything that's going to fly needs higher air pressure to push them up! Now I guess we can get back into the regular science book...until we decide to experiment more with something else!
**Just a note from Mamma - we got a little mixed up with logins when this was posted, so it was posted from Mamma's login, and you can see below it says that it was posted by Mamma Bear. However, it was actually posted by Rooster Boy, we just put it in the wrong place. Wanted to be sure credit was given where credit was due!**