We’ve all seen the classic tornado-in-a-bottle science experiment, which uses 2 two-liter bottles to create a whirlpool effect. This version requires you to get the tornado started yourself by spinning the bottles, but what if you want to make it fully automated?
Using two bottles, one made of glass and the other of HDPE, he created a vortex by attaching a small electric motor and using a piece of the HDPE container to make an impeller. A balloon and some hot glue acts as a waterproof membrane between the two containers.The LEDs are an optional step, but they do give it a pretty cool effect. Check out the video to see it in action.
Your child’s first introduction to science must be fun and filled with hands-on play. Select an activity that helps them focus on the “gee-whiz” element and encourages them to try something new. The Tornado Tube experiment is a great example of an activity that encourages discovery play with a science twist.
Most people encounter their first vortex as bath water drains from the bathtub. A vortex is a type of motion that causes liquids and gases to swirl around a center line. The vortex looks like a tornado in the bottle and is very similar to the effect you see with a real tornado except the medium is water as opposed to air.