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Shrinking Cups


Source Institutions

    Twin Cities Public Television

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Shrinking Cups

This is a quick activity (on page 2 of the PDF) about the forces of gravity and surface tension and how their behavior is influenced by size. Learners will fill a normal sized cup and a tiny cup with water, predict what will happen when the cups are flipped upside down, and then test their predictions. This activity introduces learners to how different physical forces and material properties dominate at the nanoscale. Also related to linked video, DragonflyTV Nano: Gecko Feet.

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, Lesson/Lesson Plan

Language:
English

Materials List (per group of students)


  • regular teacup
  • tiny teacup (from a dollhouse)
  • objects in between (e.g., thimble, cap from toothpaste, cap from a soda bottle)
  • pan of water

Subjects


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Nanotechnology
  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
      • Size and Scale
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Bonding
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
    • States of Matter
      • Liquids
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Mass and Weight
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • About Inquiry
      • Conducting Investigations

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

Source Collection:

  • DragonflyTV

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, Twin Cities Public Television, Inc., ©2008

Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, 741749

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