Air Takes Space


This demonstration is a way to make air "visible," showing the students that air takes space.


  • 1 Glass jar
  • 1 Styrofoam packing peanut (make sure it is not a cornstarch peanut as that will dissolve)
  • Clear basin of water (glass bowl or aquarium)
  • Optional paper towel


  1. Float the peanut on the surface of the water.
  2. Ask students what will happen if you place the jar upside down over the peanut in the water.
  3. Place the jar over the peanut and push straight down into the water. The peanut will be pushed to the bottom of the water.
  4. You can combine this with putting paper toweling in the bottom of the jar.
  5. The air in the jar kept the water from entering the jar. This kept the paper towel dry and pushed the peanut before it to the bottom of the basin.

More Information

Lesson plan information was obtained from CanTeach.