A six-step siphoning experiment for summer learning

The successful experimenter can demonstrate this siphoning procedure to another, such as to his, or her classroom students, or apply it to an outside garden using a ditch of water as Jar A, and the rows of crops as the B Jars.

The successful completion of this experiment will instill more self-confidence in the experimenter, and will develop more manual dexterity and patience, and, hopefully, a desire to seek out more challenging experiments by enrolling in school science classes, such as general science or chemistry.

College curricula in chemistry, medicine (including nursing), biology and other professions require a certain proficiency in manual dexterity.

Step 1: Set up the experiment as shown in the diagram with the smaller container, Jar “B,” placed at a lower level than the base of the larger container, Jar “A.”

Step 2: Fill Jar A to about two inches below the rim of the container.

Step 3: Using a flexible rubber or plastic tube, submerge the tube with both hands into Jar A. Note: Submerging the tube forces the air bubbles to escape from the tube and fills it with water.

Step 4: Hold the tube submerged in Jar A until no air bubbles escape from the tube.

Step 5: With the entire tube yet submerged in Jar A, hold one end of the tube submerged with one hand, and place the thumb of the other hand tightly over the other end of the tube so that no air bubbles enter the tube when that end is removed from Jar A.

Step 6: With one hand holding one end submerged in Jar A, and the thumb of the other hand onto the tube’s other end, bring the thumbed tube end out of the Jar A and guide it down into Jar B and remove the thumb from the tube.

Result: Like magic, water will begin to flow into Jar B. Air pressure pushing down onto the water in the Jar A will force the water contained in the tube over the top of the jar.

Gravity will then pull the water down into the Jar B. Water enters the hose at point “A” and exits at point “B.”

Water will continue to flow into Jar B until all the water is drained from Jar A.

Guillermo Castaneda is a former high school chemistry teacher from Granger. He can be reached at gvcastaneda@hotmail.com.

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