Mad Kitchen Science: Make Your Own Mini Tornado in a Bottle

Posted by the Mom (aka Kelly Biedny)

It’s time for another Mad Kitchen Science adventure from over the holiday break. A week or so ago, we shared our experimental a DIY Lava Lamp from the book Geek Mom and today we’re sharing another experiment.  Alex and Soph love mixing things together, or building interesting things to see what they’ll do. The mini-tornado experiment is more on the building side of things.

At the Science Museum of Minnesota, they have this one activity in the hands-on area where you can create a tornado/funnel with air and steam (I think that’s what it is). It’s a ceiling to floor experiment, I’m sure other science museums have it. Both Alex and Soph enjoy trying to get the funnel as big as possible and to last longer than a few seconds.  Because of this, when I say the mini tornado experiment in Geek Mom, I knew we’d have to try it.

If you want to make your own, here’s what you’ll need:
-two plastic liter bottles
-Food Coloring
-Duct Tape
-A Glue Gun
-Water
-Glitter or miscellaneous items to place in the jar.
-A Copy of Geek Mom (highly recommended)

With this one, we altered some of Geek Mom’s steps, so we’ll share what we did differently, but overall, we followed the steps in the book fairly closely.

Here are our differences:
-The book has you cover the tops of the bottles with duct tape to make the hole smaller–we didn’t do that because when we tried it that way, ours leaked.
-We used a glue gun to glue the bottles together in addition to securing with duct tape to minimize leaking.

Because of our alterations, the tornado lasted a short amount of time. Adding the tape and holes on the top would’ve prolonged the  drainage from the top bottle to the lower, make the tornado last longer. But, for us it leaked too much.  We did end up with a tornado that worked and, just as with the DIY Lava Lamp, we have kept our tornado for future use 😀

If you’re in the mood for an quick and easy science experiment, we recommend trying it…here are pics from ours:

Happy Experimenting Everyone!

3 Comments For This Post

  1. Heidi Says:

    My kids love this project. Great pictures! How did you get such good lighting in the house?

  2. the Mom (aka Kelly Biedny) Says:

    It was pretty much natural light…I turned off all other lights and just messed with the settings on my camera…and then photoshop helped, too 😀 Oh, and I took about a billion pics to get a few good ones!

    Thanks for stopping by!

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