Can You Drink Through a 30 Foot Straw?

This Can You Drink Through a 30 Foot Straw? lab resource also includes:

Drinking straws are a pretty simple device ... or, are they? Explore the possibility of sipping a beverage 30 feet away with an engaging activity that's sure to keep pupils guessing. Just place a long piece of plastic tubing in a glass, add a staircase, and let the learning begin!

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Instructional Ideas

  • Ask the class how elevation above sea level affects atmospheric pressure, then have them apply this information to the activity
  • Show students a mercury barometer and discuss why mercury is used to measure pressure rather than water
Classroom Considerations

  • Use a dark, non-carbonated beverage for the investigation—coffee works best!
  • Learners should have some background knowledge of pressure
Pros

  • Clarifies the difference between pressure and suction, which helps to dispel a common misconception
  • The activity has a variety of applications and extension opportunities
Cons

  • None