Squeeze the Stream

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In this activity related to flight, learners build a tiny stream channel to investigate how fluids (air and water) change speed as they flow between and around objects. It includes an explanation "What's Going on? The Simple Explanation..." for an introductory explanation. See related resource "What's Going on? The Advanced Explanation..." for an explanation of what is happening to the water and pressure during this experiment as well as how it relates to airplanes and flight. This resource is related to other resources in the SMILE Pathway: Look Mom, No Wings! and Bernoulli Brain Teasers.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

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

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

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


Materials List (per group of students)

  • cookie sheet
  • pencils
  • tape
  • plastic wrap
  • sink or tub
  • water
  • small scraps of paper or styrofoam (optional)


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Aerospace Engineering
      • Transportation Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Energy
      • Potential and Kinetic Energy
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
      • Momentum and Velocity
      • Acceleration
    • States of Matter
      • Liquids
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Transportation


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

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