It’s DIY Alternative Energy

    Make an Air Vortex Cannon

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    1509_KCD_1Have you ever thought about how powerful air can be? Maybe you’ve seen a tornado or hurricane and wondered, Can that really happen? Can wind really pick up a house or a car? The answer is yes! Air has mass, and depending on how much pressure it’s under, air can move a lot of things. An air vortex cannon will help this process. Let’s do science!

    What you need:1509_KCD_2

    • Tubular container (like a Pringles can)

    • One or two balloons (should be proportional to the circumference of your container – a bigger container requires a bigger balloon)

    • One to three rubber bands

    • A knife

    • Scissors

    1509_KCD_3What you do

    1.Clean out your container and arrange your materials.

    2.Cut a hole in the lid of your container, removing one-quarter to one-third of the surface.

    3.Put the lid back on your container.

    4.Cut off the bottom of your container.

    5.Cut off the tip of your balloon.

    6.Stretch your balloon over the cut-off end of the container.

    7.Fasten the balloon in place with rubber bands.

    8.Pinch the center of the stretched balloon out and release it to send out puffs of air to move lightweight objects: pom-poms, feathers, cotton balls, etc.

    For a challenge try making a larger air vortex cannon:
    You’ll need a small bucket or trash bin, extra-large balloons, or a sheet of plastic, rubber bands or string, a knife, and scissors. Cut off the bottom of your container, stretch your plastic over the open end, and fasten the plastic in place with rubber bands or string. Now, slap the center of the stretched plastic with your hand to send out puffs of air. Does your large cannon blow more air than your smaller one? How might you measure this? How is the air coming out of the cannon different from you blowing air? Experiment with different sizes.