Tornado in a Jar Science Experiment

Parker Tornado
photo © 2008 Ryan-o | more info (via: Wylio)

As you explore the topic of weather with your students, don't forget to include fun science extensions to help your visual learners {and, of course, for some hands on fun in the classroom!}. We found this great "tornado in a jar" science experiment at Weather Wiz Kids via One Hook Wonder and thought your kiddos might appreciate the re-creation of this powerful natural disaster. All it takes are a few simple ingredients from home...

Supplies You'll Need

  • Recycled jar {a mayonnaise or canning jar is suggested}
  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Clear liquid soap
  • Glitter and/or food coloring {optional}

The process is really quite simple, so invite your students to help with a class tornado jar or even create their own at the science center - measuring and combining the ingredients in the proper order {with supervision, of course!}. Consider creating illustrated "recipe cards" to help younger 'scientists' along. When finished, as your kiddos shake up their jars and practice getting the circular motion "just right", they'll be amazed at what they see forming in their jar! Who knew funnel clouds could be formed indoors?!

[NOTE: For younger students, consider creating smaller versions of the experiment. Large glass canning jars filled with liquid may be a bit heavy for them to lift and swirl!]

Be sure to check out the project page at Weather Wiz Kids and see how the experiment worked out at One Hook Wonder!