Gravity Fountains

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This activity (located on page 3 of the PDF under GPS: Glaciers Activity) is a full inquiry investigation into the forces of gravity and air pressure. Groups of learners will construct a simple gravity fountain by making a hole near the bottom of a 2-liter bottle, filling it with water, then as the bottle empties, collecting measurements of the water levels and length of the stream, to make a graph for analysis. Relates to linked video, DragonflyTV GPS: Gravity Fountain.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

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

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • a small collection of 1 and 2 liter empty soda bottles with caps
  • a 4-penny or 6-penny nail
  • a bucket with plenty of water
  • rulers or tape measures/metersticks
  • markers that can write on plastic soda bottles
  • an empty bucket


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Oceans and Water
  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
    • Measurement
    • Representation
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
      • Projectile Motion
    • States of Matter
      • Liquids
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • About Inquiry
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Outdoor Activity
  • Toys


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • DragonflyTV


  • All rights reserved, Twin Cities Public Television, Inc., 2007

Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, 610429