Since its introduction in 1987, the Tornado Tube® has become one of the world's most popular science toys. The Tornado Tube is used to connect two plastic soda bottles, one filled with water, in the shape of an hourglass. Simply swirl the liquid in the bottles and in seconds a twisting, turning, spiraling, vortex appears. But there's more!
Steve Spangler uncovers 50 creative, unusual, hands-on activities that will knock your socks off! Taming the Tornado Tube™ is a wonderful collection of ideas inspired by children and teachers throughout the country. See their ideas and inventions in this fully illustrated, 128-page book that is guaranteed to get your creative ideas flowing! Activities recommended for children ages 6 and up.
- Taming the Tornado Tube book
- Tornado Tube connector in your choice of quantity, available in assorted colors
How does it work?
Get a couple of 2-liter plastic soda bottles and fill one with water. Connect the empty bottle to the bottle filled with water using the Tornado Tube, so it looks like an hourglass. Tip this "hourglass" upside down, swirl the bottles, and in seconds a beautiful "tornado" appears. It's a great way to study science and nature without visiting Tornado Alley!
What does it teach?
Use this experiment to introduce students to kinetic energy and potential energy. Help them to discover how air pressure and density work together, then discuss the physics of weather and the atmospheric conditions that are present when a real tornado forms.
Purchase some colored lamp oil at a local department or grocery store. Fill one of your tornado tube bottles three-quarters full with water and then add a few ounces of colored lamp oil. Attach the second bottle using a Tornado Tube connector. When you swirl the liquid, the less dense lamp oil is drawn into the vortex and makes a colorful tornado!
Tornado in a Bottle - Vortex Racer
August 2nd, 2010
Click the thumbnail below to see the video.
Julie Ley - March 4, 2012
This is a great kit for a small birthday party or playmate. There is a lot of education along with fun that you can do with the kids while building a tornado. I highly recommend. We built the tornados and explained the science behind it then watch a National Geographics film on Tornados.
Janet Campbell - May 1, 2010
My nephew is at risk because of low reading skills. I tutor him twice a week, 30 minutes reading fiction and 30 minutes reading Tornado Tube and doing an experiment. The reading is above his level but he perseveres and wants to understand unfamiliar words because he wants to do the experiments.