Does Air Take Up Space? ~ Closed System Science Experiment
Do you kids love simple science experiments? Mine do. Hands on learning is how my kids learn best. So when the kids started asking about air and how we know its there…I set up this simple experiment. It is an easy science experiment that demonstrates that air is all around us and does in fact take up space. Read on to learn more.
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- Rubber Gloves ~ we used household cleaning gloves
- Wide Mouth Jar ~ It needs to have an opening wide enough to safely fit your hand inside. We used a large pickle jar. We go through massive quantities of pickles in our house.
First, the kids tried on the rubber gloves. Just to show them that they were not trick gloves, and that they did actually fit;)
Side note…this girl LOVES cleaning. She received a pair of rubber gloves in her Christmas stocking and was beyond excited. Ha! Seriously, when people asked what she got for Christmas, (with excitement) she would respond “rubber gloves to clean!” I love her so much!
How to Set Up this Simple Experiment:
- Place the rubber glove into the jar with the fingers pointing down. (Remember to make sure the opening is wide enough for you hand to slip through easily)
- Stretch and fold the wrist-edge of the rubber glove around the rim of the jar.
- Make sure it is sealed well…don’t allow anything – including air – to get in or out. This will create a closed system.
Does Air Take Up Space?
Once the experiment all set up, ask the kids to make a few predictions.
- What will happen when you try to put your hand into the glove in the jar?
- Is air sealed in the jar?
- Does air take up space?
Now let the fun begin. Encourage the kids to place their hand into the glove to see how does it fits.
Since the jar is already filled with air, it is difficult to put on the glove. The kids actually found it not only difficult, but impossible. There’s no room left; the jar is already full! Meaning that air does intact take up space! The kids felt lots of pressure around their hands, making the fingers of the gloves close around their fingers.
We also tried releasing some of the air from the jar. This allowed the kids hands to easily slip into the gloves once again. Pretty cool!