How to Make a Tornado in a Bottle

Tornadoes are a powerful demonstration of the forces of nature. The center of these destructive phenomena, the vortex, is illustrated vividly in the experiment that follows. Adult supervision is needed to complete this project. Read on to learn how to make a tornado in a bottle.

    Remove the labels from the bottles. Take the caps off each bottle and rinse the bottles thoroughly. Drill a 1/2 inch hole in the center of each cap. Kids should get an adult to help.

    Place the caps together on their flat ends, and put a thin bead of caulk around the hole to seal it. Let it dry. Wrap a piece of duct tape tightly around the outside of the caps to stick them together.

    Screw the caps back on to one of the 2-liter bottles. Fill the other bottle about 3/4 full with water. You can add food coloring and confetti if you would like. The confetti and food color helps to see the force of the vortex.

    Twist the empty bottle tightly to the top of the bottle filled with water. Hold the bottles by the duct-taped area with one hand and use the other to support the bottom of the bottle.

    Turn the bottles upside-down and stir them in a circular motion. You should see a vortex that forms as the water drains into the bottle on the bottom.

    Things You'll Need

    • Two empty 2-liter plastic bottles
    • Drill
    • Silicone caulking
    • Duct tape
    • Water
    • Food coloring (optional)
    • Foil confetti (optional)

    Tips

    • A kit with the caps already attached to one another is available at hobby shops and teacher supply stores.

    Warnings

    • Only adults should handle power tools. Everyone standing nearby should wear protective glasses when the drill is in use.

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