If you are like me, you may have seen experiments done where a tornado is created using two bottles joined together at the mouth using a tornado tube connector, but never an experiment where a tornado is created using just one bottle.
Because of that, I wanted to experiment to see if we could get a cyclone to form using just one bottle and a lot of muscle. The end result was most certainly a very nice tornado is a bottle created with a lot of glitter, some water and a lot of quick shaking. Bonus: You get a good arm workout doing this experiment as well.
Tornado Science Experiment Video
- Empty Glass Bottle with Lid
- 3-4 tablespoons Glitter (the more glitter the better!)
Step 1 – Use the funnel to put 3-4 tablespoons of glitter in an empty glass jar.
Helpful Tip: The more glitter you use, the better you will be able to see the tornado. And after all, you can never have too much glitter, right?
Step 2 – Next, fill the jar about 3/4 full of water.
Step 3 – Put the lid back on the jar and make sure it is really tight.
Step 4 –Turn the bottle upside down and quickly move the bottle in a circular motion for 10-15 seconds.
Step 5 – Finally, set the bottle down on the table and observe the tornado that has formed.
Tip: It will take some practice to get the tornado to show up as much as the one in the picture above. But even with a little shaking a child should be able to get the water and glitter to spin around in the bottle.
How Does the Experiment Work?
When you spin the bottle in a circular motion it creates a water vortex that looks like a tornado. The water is continues spinning around the center of the vortex because of centripetal force.
Because there is glitter in the water you can see the spinning water more clearly. The glitter is similar to the dust and debris that are found spinning in an actual tornado.
I hope you enjoyed the experiment. Here’s some printable instructions!