He's back! Phil of Science is at it again with some really cool experiments to show you how science works and how it can work for you.

In this activity you will learn about air pressure and force, some of you may be new to the idea that air has mass that occupies space.

In this video we will look at two key things:

1.  Air pressure and force
2.  How vortexes work

When the tornado tubes are upturned, you would expect the water to fall into the bottom bottle as there is "nothing there". Phil is introducing the concept of mass to inform everyone that while it does not mean weight, it's linked, and it's more so a measure of how much stuff is in an object.

The tornado tubes demonstrate how air has mass, and will not allow the water to flow unless we create space for them both to pass. The swirling vortex motion is the same seen in tornadoes, whirlpools and drains.

Step by step experiment

Set up: Five minutes
Have the children gather around and settle.

Theory: Five minutes
Ask the children if they have any idea what mass is (and who likes going to it 😊). Explain that the kind of mass we're talking about here is not the kind in a church, this mass is basically just a measure of how much stuff is in an object. It’s not the same as weight but they are linked. You’d have the same mass on earth as you would on the moon but because gravity if different, you’d have a different weight.

Activity: 20 minutes
Bring over the Tornado Tube. Ask The children to predict what will happen if you turn the tube upside-down. The liquid stays on top! Ask them why. Air has mass and as such it takes up space and two things can’t be in the same place at the same time. There’s a hole in the plastic container in the middle but because there’s no space for the liquid and air to go they just stay where they are. What we can do though is create some space by spinning the bottle around in a circle. This pushes all the liquid out to the sides and creates a tunnel in the middle for the air to go up. Ask the children what else behaves like this. Tornados behave the same way!
Let the children experiment with the tornado tubes.

Now that the children have been shown how air has mass lets knock things over with it! Show them the Airzooka and demonstrate how it works by blasting them with air before letting them have a competition to knock the paper cups off each other’s heads. When you pull back the string it creates a pocket of air that is pushed forward in a ring of air towards the cups.

Demonstration: Five minutes
Now tell the class we are going to use and EVEN BIGGER Airzooka, joke about how expensive the homemade one was to make. Fill the bin with smoke from the fog machine and tap the bottom to send big smoke rings out of the hole.