Investigating air pressure – more eggs!

Today we are looking at air pressure. Air pressure is the force exerted by air on any surface in contact with it.

We are going to demonstrate air pressure by using it to force an egg into a bottle.

What you need:

A boiled egg

A glass bottle or jar with a neck a little smaller than an egg

2 matches

What to do:

  • Place the cooled boiled egg on top of the glass bottle, making sure there is no way the egg fits through.

air pressure

  • Ask an adult to light two matches and drop them inside the glass jar, quickly place the egg back on top.
  • Watch as the egg drops inside the jar.

Ignore the carrot in our jar, we didn’t have any matches so had to fashion a carrot and some cocktail sticks!

The Science Bit

The matches heat up the air inside the glass jar. The air then expands and some escapes out of the jar. Once the matches go out, the air starts to cool, making the pressure drop. The air outside the jar now has a higher pressure than the inside, and forces its way inside the jar, forcing the egg downwards as it does so.

Our jar was quite small, so it would be interesting to see what would happen if a larger one was used. If you try please let us know!

Pop back over next week to see how to make a barometer to measure air pressure.


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Author: Emma Vanstone

Science Sparks, is a site dedicated to making Science fun for kids. I’d love you to follow me on my Google Profile+.

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  1. Ooh very clever… does take me back to science days.. I would have tipped on that there is “less air” in the jar once the fire has “consumed it”… thus lower pressure. Need to scrubbed up my physics. Makes me have a good think again!

    Thank you for linking to kids (&mums) get crafty!


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    • Thank you. x

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    • Glad you like it!

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  2. Another fantastic idea! Thanks for sharing it with us!

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    • Thank you. xx

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  3. This is so fun! I will be adding it to our list of ‘eggtivities’.. Thanks for sharing, with video and all!!

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    • So glad you like it!

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  4. Having trouble finding glass jar with top right size – any suggestions???

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    • We used a small stir fry sauce jar..

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  5. with a larger jar it should suck the egg down into the bottom of it- did this with my kids in 8th grade science class and it never ceases to amaze them (me too)

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  6. awesome! what do you do with the egg and the jar afterwards?! will try it later.. thanks

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    • There isn’t much you can do with it really unfortunately.

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  7. To get the egg out all you need to do is create a higher pressure inside the container. This can be done by holding it upside down and blowing air into it. Since it’s upside down the egg will act as a plug when you stop blowing. With the higher pressure inside of the container now, the egg should pop out.

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  8. we did this with a balloon filled with water – eggs are a bit too precious over here – and it worked beautifully

    Post a Reply


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