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Pressing Pressure

Source Institutions

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration

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Pressing Pressure

In this activity, learners compare water pressure at different depths. Learners discover that water pressure increases with depth. In an optional extension, learners can investigate how density affects water pressure.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • cup
  • 1.9 L (1/2 gallon) milk carton - not plastic
  • 946.36 mL (1 quart) milk carton - not plastic
  • pencil
  • masking tape
  • deep pan
  • water
  • metric ruler
  • science journal
  • access to a sink or outside


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Oceans and Water
  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Ocean Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
    • States of Matter
      • Liquids
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Mass and Weight
      • Volume and Density
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations

Informal Categories

  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • NASA Center for Distance Learning, Office of Education at NASA’s Langley Research Center


  • All Rights Reserved, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, ©2004


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