Publication No. 12999
Produce an exciting bubbling fountain and demonstrate the power of air pressure.
Water, ≈1.5 L
Fountain connection includes a connector and 2 clear, plastic bottles
Soda bottles, 2-L,3
This activity is considered to be nonhazardous. Follow all normal laboratory guidelines.
The assembled fountain may be reused many times.
Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)†
Science & Engineering PracticesDeveloping and using models
Disciplinary Core IdeasMS-PS2.A: Forces and Motion
MS-PS3.B: Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer
MS-PS3.C: Relationship between Energy and Forces
HS-PS2.A: Forces and Motion
HS-PS3.B: Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer
HS-PS3.C: Relationship between Energy and Forces
Crosscutting ConceptsCause and effect
Systems and system models
Energy and matter
HS-PS3-2. Develop and use models to illustrate that energy at the macroscopic scale can be accounted for as a combination of energy associated with the motion of particles (objects) and energy associated with the relative position of particles (objects).
Hero of Alexandria (ca 62 A.D.) described a water fountain that used compressed air to lift water to a point higher than its origin. The result was a fountain that seemed to defy both logic and the laws of nature. A closer study of your fountain will reveal the principles of its operation.