Friday, February 20, 2015

Yet Another Failed Experiment

I am really on a roll when it comes to failing at the traditional Montessori geography demonstrations.

This is the first experiment in the "Work of Air" section of the geography album.  It is  supposed to show that air takes up space.  When you pour the water quickly from the tumbler into the funnel that is sealed to a bottle with plasticine most of the water should remain in the funnel.  I tried this at least fifty times.  Fifty shades of failure.  I tried several different bottles.  I also tried a different funnel. The directions said that the funnel end should be a straight-across end rather than angled.  I didn't fail any harder with the angled funnel than I did with the straight funnel.  I also tried several types of clay. I occasionally got the water to go in a little more slowly and bubble a bit, but never stay in the funnel.  

You can read more about this experiment over at Frugal Fun for Boys.  Sarah is apparently a little handier than I am.

I couldn't find any videos of this working.  My suspicious mind says, "That is because no one can get it to work."

Oh.  And one of the boys took a drink out of the glass before I took my pictures.  So, now there is a dirty lip print on the drinking glass.  Even the photo is a "fail."


  1. Ugh! I never got this one to work, either. Unfortunately, I was the lazy teacher that day and didn't try the experiment before I showed the children. So I tried it fifty different ways WITH the children. Not awesome.

  2. Here is a YouTube video of someone's success.

    Sometimes it is easier to watch someone else, then let the children re-create it. Saves our dignity a bit ;)

  3. This is so funny to me, although I'm sure totally frustrating for you, because I had the exact opposite problem when I wasn't even trying to do the experiment. We haven't gotten to this yet, but I have a funnel that I got from Montessori Services, a little metal one. I had it on my practical life shelf for my 3 year old last year and every time we'd try to put the water in from the itty bitty pitcher, it would clog up the funnel and it would NEVER go down. I hated that funnel. But I do remember thinking "oh, this is how that air experiment works". Now that I know others have had trouble with it as well, it probably won't work when I need it to :).