Bernoulli Levitator

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Demonstrate the Bernoulli Principle using simple materials on a small or large scale. This resource includes two activities that allow learners to experience the Bernoulli Principle, in which an object is suspended in air by blowing down on it. Use this activity to explain how atomizers work and why windows are sometimes sucked out of their frames as two trains rush past each other.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration


Materials List (per group of students)

  • A large wood or plastic thread spool [small snack version]
  • An index card [small snack version]
  • A pushpin [small snack version]
  • Drinking straws (optional) [small snack version]
  • A hair dryer or vacuum-cleaner blower [large snack version]
  • A stiff paper or plastic plate [large snack version]
  • A cardboard box with one side somewhat larger than the plate [large snack version]
  • A pushpin [large snack version]


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Atmosphere
  • Physical Sciences
    • Energy
      • Potential and Kinetic Energy
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
    • States of Matter
      • Liquids
      • Gases


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



Funding Sources:

  • National Science Foundation
  • California Department of Education
  • NEC Foundation of America