Create a tornado in a bottle! This exciting experiment is a hands-on demonstration of "VORTEX ACTION." Use this experiment to study kinetic and potential energy, as well as the atmospheric conditions needed to create a tornado vortex. This colorful plastic tube is a great introduction to any weather unit.
Turn the excitement of the Tornado Tube® into an unforgettable science experience for your students with this mega classroom kit. Don't worry about rounding up all of the supplies because this kit comes packed with everything you'll need to get the kids twisting and turning. In addition to the teacher activity guide, you'll get a copy of Steve Spangler's Taming the Tornado Tube™ book filled with 50 activities and a complete section exploring the science of tornadoes. Activities recommended for children ages 4 and up.
- Six, 32 oz. bottles
- Six, 16 oz. bottles
- Six Tornado Tubes
- 12 Color Fizzers coloring tablets
- Density beads
- Steve Spangler's Taming the Tornado Tube book
- Teacher activity guide
- Student discovery page
How does it work?
If you've ever seen a dust devil on a windy day or watched the water drain from the bathtub, you've seen a vortex. A vortex is a type of motion that causes liquids and gases to travel in spirals around a center line. A vortex is created when a rotating liquid falls through an opening. Gravity is the force that pulls the liquid into the hole and a continuous vortex develops.
Swirling the water in the bottle while pouring it out causes the formation of a vortex. The vortex looks like a tornado in the bottle. The formation of the vortex makes it easier for air to come into the bottle and allows the water to pour out faster. If you look carefully, you will be able to see the hole in the middle of the vortex that allows the air to come up inside the bottle. If you do not swirl the water and just allow it to flow out on its own, then the air and water have to essentially take turns passing through the mouth of the bottle, thus the glug-glug sound.
What does it teach?Use this experiment to introduce students to kinetic energy and potential energy. Help students discover how air pressure and density work together to create an incredible force of nature. Learn about the science of vortex energy, the swirling, twisting and spiraling action that can be found everywhere in nature.
Tornado in a Bottle - Vortex Racer
August 2nd, 2010
Click the thumbnail below to see the video.
OMG - These are the BEST
Susan A - November 19, 2011
I originally bought these to be used in my science club... but never put them away (this was 3 years ago). I keep them on the windowsill in my classroom. Kids BEG to use them... I still have the colored water in them, etc. I've never seen anything that fascinates so much as a simple swirling bottle. I highly recommend these!