We all know that kids have tons of questions about how things work. Why does it thunder? How does gravity work? Why does the wind blow?

Why can birds fly and humans can’t? How do planes fly?

Next time your kiddo asks about planes or birds flying, just tell them “because of Bernoulli’s Principle.” Bernoulli’s principle states that as air moves around an object, it creates different pressures on that object. Faster air means less pressure. Slower air means more pressure. 

And then do this experiment to show them Bernoulli’s Principle in action! Many thanks to Lindsay Jones, Director of Stevenson University’s Science Camp, for showing us how this works.

Bernoulli’s Principle: Science Fun for Kids

Materials

  • Straw
  • Ping Pong Ball
  • 2 Aluminum Cans

Instructions

Hold the ping pong ball above one end of the straw. Keep the other end of the straw in your mouth. 

Science Fun with Stevenson - Bernoulli's Principle

Blow through the straw and try to balance the ping pong ball. The fast moving air creates low pressure, causing the surrounding air to hold the ball in place!

Now place the aluminum cans on a flat surface. Cans should be spaced approximately the width of your index finger apart.

Science Fun with Stevenson - Bernoulli's Principle

Blow through the straw, aiming at the space between the cans.

Science Fun with Stevenson - Bernoulli's Principle

Watch as the cans get sucked together! Why does this happen? The fast moving air creates low pressure causing the air on the outside to push the cans together.

About Our Sponsor

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This article is sponsored by Stevenson University’s Science Camp! Students attending Science Camp at Stevenson University engage in exciting laboratory-based, hands-on activities designed to instill and enhance interest in science. Topics range from robotics to real-world chemistry and biology. All activities are taught by Stevenson University faculty. LEARN MORE/REGISTER

 

Photos by Laura Black.