Explosive Pressure

Page hero image With bike-pump rockets, liquid nitrogen and marshmallow bazookas, this show about pressure will blow your mind!
 
Age: Primary: Yrs 3-5
Program Length: 30-45 minutes
Audience: Up to 120 students
 

Program overview

Students will:
 
  • Explore different causes of pressure
  • Discover the differences between positive and negative pressure
  • See how chemical reactions can make gases under pressure
  • Be introduced to liquid nitrogen and see how temperature changes pressure
  • See how liquid nitrogen expands 600x when heated to room temperature
  • Learn about air pressure, water tension and pressure in the earth.
  • Develop their scientific skills of Enquiry, Prediction, Observation, Explanation.

Show requirements

  • 2x power outlets
  • Access to a water tap and sink
  • Space requirements: 3m x 3m.

Curriculum links

Formal curriculum substrands

  • Chemical, physical, and earth science

Links with Overarching Ideas

  • Matter and energy – energy and temperature can cause changes in pressure
  • Stability and change – chemical reactions producing new substances, changes in temperature cause changes in pressure.
  • Scale and measurement - Measurement of positive and negative pressure, identification of the low (-195C) temperature of liquid nitrogen.
  • Patterns order and organisation – different methods of changing pressure
  • Earth and space sciences – forces have changed the earth for  4.5 billion years, pressure in the earth’s crust creates plate tectonics and fossils.

Curriculum sections

  • Forces can be exerted by one object on another through direct contact or from a distance (ACSSU076)
  • Solids, liquids and gases have different observable properties and behave in different ways (ACSSU077)
  • A change of state between solid and liquid can be caused by adding or removing heat (ACSSU046)
  • A push or a pull affects how an object moves or changes shape (ACSSU033)
  • Different materials can be combined, including by mixing, for a particular purpose (ACSSU031)
  • Science involves asking questions about, and describing changes in, objects and events (ACSHE034)
  • Heat can be produced in many ways and can move from one object to another (ACSSU049)
  • Changes to materials can be reversible, such as melting, freezing, evaporating; or irreversible, such as burning and rusting (ACSSU095)
  • Objects are made of materials that have observable properties (ACSSU003)
  • Everyday materials can be physically changed in a variety of ways (ACSSU018)
  • Science involves making predictions and describing patterns and relationships (ACSHE061).
 
NSW Curriculum Outcomes: ST2-1VA, ST3-1VA,  ST2-4WS, ST2-5WT, ST2-6PW, ST2-7PW, ST2-12MW, ST2-13MW, ST3-12MW, ST3-13MW.
 

Extensions

There are heaps of exciting things students and teachers can do with pressure following this show!  Here are some suggestions:

In class and at home

  • Make a Cartesian diver with a straw and some blue-tack
  • Use frozen CO2 (dry ice) to explore the effects of cold temperatures and decreased pressures
  • Make your own bicarb-vinegar film canister rockets
  • Make your own bike-pump rocket
  • Advanced: Explore what variables make the rocket go highest.