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The materials required for this science fair project:

-    1 stove

-    1 empty soda can

-    1 packet of ice cubes

-    1 pail of water

-    1 pair of kitchen gloves


1.    For this experiment, the independent variable is the temperature or the air pressure of the can. The dependent variable is what happens to the can. This is determined by observing the can after it is placed in the cold water. The constants (control variables) are the temperature of the water, the temperature of the air inside the soda can and the  volume of  the soda can.

2.    About 2 cm   of water (fill-depth) is poured into the empty soda can and it is placed on the stove.  Fire up the stove and let the water in the can boil for a few minutes.  When the water in the can starts  to boil, allow the steam to flow freely out of the can.

3.     Ice cubes are then put inside the pail of water to bring down  its temperature.

4.    Once the water in the can has been boiled for a few minutes, the can is picked up using the hot pad gloves. Be careful not to touch the soda can with bare hands. The can is turned upside down and immediately immersed into the cold water.

5.    Observe and record what happens to the empty can once it is pushed into the pail of cold water.

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Complexity level:
Project cost ($):
Time required:
1 hour to prepare, 1 hour for experiment
Material availability:
Very easily found
Safety concerns:

1.    Perform the experiment under  adult supervision.

2.     Be careful, and request assistance if necessary, when handling the stove, and when removing the hot soda can from the stove and placing it in the cold water.