In Science, Year 7C students had the opportunity to make their very own Nerf Guns.
The students started by practising with a plastic syringe and marshmallows. By doing this, they were able to see the effect the change in air pressure had on the tiny marshmallow. As they pushed down on the plunger, the marshmellow shrivelled up! When they released the pressure, it popped straight back to its puffy shape!
You can give this a try at home. Here are the steps we took:
- Place a mini marshmallow into the barrel of a wide plastic syringe
- Seal the tip of the syringe with your finger
- Using the plunger, push down (you will notice it is quite hard because the air pressure has increased)
- Look at what happens to the marshmallow as you push and release the plunger
Wow, it is incredible! When pushing down on the plunger, the volume was reduced causing the pressure inside the barrel to increase. Once the Year 7 students were finished marvelling at the marshmallow, it was time to put this pressure to the test and see if it could shoot a paper ball across the room. It was nerf time!
Taking a glass rod and two pieces of wet tissue paper, the students sealed off one end with tissue paper, and simply pushed the other piece inside of the opposite end using a stick. Again, when quickly reducing the volume, the pressure built inside and it forced the sealed end to be shot out. We watched it fly across the room within seconds. Now that the class knew what to do, they kept experimenting to see how far their Nerf Guns could shoot.
Year 7C were so impressed that such an easy experiment could produce such a lively result!