Bernoulli's Principle Activities for Kids

Instructor: Julie Zundel

Julie has taught high school Zoology, Biology, Physical Science and Chem Tech. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Education.

Bernoulli's principle is an important physics topic that can be demonstrated through fun, hands-on activities. The ones here include some easy ways to help students visualize the principle and get them thinking about how airplane wings generate lift.

Learning About Bernoulli's Principle

Bernoulli's principle states that as a fluid (like air) increases in velocity, the fluid's air pressure decreases; it is a difficult concept to teach students and one that is often misunderstood. This series of activities and demonstrations can help students understand the principle and may be good starting points for further investigations.

Magic Ping-Pong Balls

This activity demonstrates Bernoulli's principle in a fun, exciting way. Kids will be eager to learn how the balls ''magically'' float!

Materials

  • Ping-Pong balls
  • Hair dryer
  • Notebook paper
  • Pencils or pens

Activity Instructions

  • Begin by asking students what they think will happen if a Ping-Pong ball is placed in the air stream created by a hair dryer. Give them a moment to jot down their thoughts and then compile a list on the board.
  • Turn the hair dryer on and point it towards the ceiling.
  • Place a Ping-Pong ball in its stream, and have students write down what occurs.
  • Turn the hair dryer to see how far to the right or left you can go before the ball falls.
  • Discuss what is taking place: The air from the hair dryer is moving faster than the surrounding air. Because it is moving faster, it has a lower pressure than the surrounding air. This keeps the ball within the fast-moving, low-pressure column of air.
  • Have students draw an image of what is taking place on their note sheets.

Bernoulli Tents

Materials

  • Printer paper for tents
  • Notebook paper
  • Pencils or pens

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