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Title: Can Crusher
By: JJ Leissing
May 20, 2020
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You may be able to crush a soda can with your hand or even your foot, but do you think you can crush a can by simply changing its temperature? Let’s find out together in this science experiment all about pressure!


Mess Level: Low


Here is what you need:


• Empty Soda Can

• Water

• Bowl of Ice Water

• Hot Plate or Stove Top

• Tongs

• Oven Mitt

• Safety Glasses

• Adult Supervision!


What to do:


1. Before starting the activity, make sure you have adult supervision!

2. Fill an empty soda can with a small amount of water to cover the bottom of the can (1-2 tablespoons is ideal)

3. Heat the soda can on the stove top until you start to see some steam escaping from the mouth of the soda can

4. With an oven mitt and tongs, grab the hot can and quickly invert the soda can so that the opening of the can is submerged into the bowl of ice water

5. As soon as it is submerged into the ice water, the can will crush!


How did that work?


When the water inside the soda can is heated, it heats up the water molecules. When these water molecules heat up, they begin to turn from a liquid to a gas and move around faster inside the soda can. When the can is submerged in the cold water, it creates an immediate change in pressure between the outside and inside of the can. The pressure on the outside of the soda can is so much greater than the inside of the can, that it causes it to implode!



Author Info
JJ Leissing's picture

JJ Leissing, Chief Programs Officer, joined Kidspace Children’s Museum in 2019. Prior to her time at Kidspace, JJ worked for nine years at the Orlando Science Center as the Director of Visitor Experience and six years at SeaWorld Adventure Park in the Conservation & Education department. At the Orlando Science Center, JJ coordinated and developed the public programming, special events, and traveling exhibition bookings for the museum. She holds a Bachelors in Science in Biology and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Central Florida.