In the Classroom

  An AirZooka is used to knock down plastic cups to demonstrate that air takes up space when the plastic membrane of the AirZooka is released.
  • PK – grade 3 students
A toy gun type air tool can shoot out air powerful enough to knock down some cups, showing that air is matter and takes up space. Even though the air gun does not shoot things out like a ball it still shoots out air that is in the gun.
  • Grade 4 – 6 students
Air is a mixture of gas that takes up space, this is proven by shooting out of an air cannon. Not only does air take up space but it is strong enough to knock down objects. The speed at which the air leaves the AirZooka is because of the size of the hole in the gun and the force of the plastic film pushing air out of the AirZooka. The smaller the hole, the more powerful the air comes out, so the bigger the hole the less powerful the air blast. Also, pulling the plastic film back all the way will cause a powerful air blast while pulling it back only a short distance causes a less powerful blast.
  • Middle school students
Matter is everywhere even in the air around us, air takes up space and can be pushed out of an area with pressure depending on the diameter of the opening it is being pushed out of, and the force of the plastic film pushing air out of the AirZooka. When the plastic part of the gun is released the volume or space inside the AirZooka gets smaller and the pressure gets larger.
  • College-level/ scientific description
Elements like oxygen, nitrogen take up space in air so when an empty cannon does not have an object it is occupied be air that is around us. When that air is pushed out of the vessel it is in the volume decreases and the pressure increases. This increase in pressure forces the air out of the hole in the front of the gun. The force that the air exhausts is proportional to the diameter of the hole and how far back the plastic film is pulled.   Science Discipline(s) Chemistry   Topics Air is matter, air pressures   Activity Title Air ball bowling   Materials
  • AirZooka
  • Plastic cups
  • Cardboard box
  Procedure
  • Set the plastic cups in a cardboard box a good distance from the launch point.
  • Participants take a turn shooting the AirZooka trying to knockdown as many cups as they can with one shot of air.
Questions
  1. What factors do you believe are important in how strong of air blast you get from a AirZooka? How could you design an experiment to test your hypothesis regarding the effect of the factors on the force of the air blast?
  2. How could you test how fast the air blast was moving?
  3. What factors do you believe are important in how fast the air blast moves from a AirZooka? How could you design an experiment to test your hypothesis regarding the effect of the factors on the force of the air blast?
Explanation The AirZooka demonstrates the scientific principle that air occupies space. When the plastic membrane of the trigger mechanism is released, the volume decreases and pressure increases. The pressure that is forced out of the hole is proportional to the diameter of the hole, the smaller the hole the more velocity of the air, How far back the plastic film is pulled and the strength of the elastic band in moving the plastic film also affect the speed and force of the air blast. References: https://www.scientificsonline.com/product/airzooka