Atmospheric Pressure
Properties of Matter

Magic Fountain

Enrichment Activity for 5-11 11-14

What you need

  • Plastic cup
  • Bendy straw
  • Scissors
  • Glue or Blu-Tack


  1. With the scissors make a small hole in the bottom of the cup (you might need a friend to help).
  2. Push the straw through the hole so the bendy bit is inside the cup
  3. Glue or use some Blu-Tack to seal the hole and hold the straw in place.
  4. Slowly fill the cup with water. Once the water is past the top of the bend, water will start to flow through the straw.

Results and Explanation

Once the water begins to flow through the straw, the rest of the water follows as it's pulled through.

These experiments have not been specifically safety tested for home use but we believe them to be safe if the instructions are followed. Adult supervision or direction is recommended as appropriate. All experiments are carried out at your own risk.

Atmospheric Pressure
is a special case of Pressure
Limit Less Campaign

Support our manifesto for change

The IOP wants to support young people to fulfil their potential by doing physics. Please sign the manifesto today so that we can show our politicians there is widespread support for improving equity and inclusion across the education sector.

Sign today