Tornado Tube Instructions

Create a tornado in a bottle! This exciting experiment is a hands-on demonstration of “VORTEX ACTION.” Use this experiment to study kinetic and potential energy, as well as the atmospheric conditions needed to create a tornado vortex. This colorful plastic tube is a great introduction to any weather unit. Recommended for children ages 4 and up.

How Does It Work?

Fill one of the 1-liter bottles with water. Connect the empty bottle to the first with the Tornado Tube, so it looks like an hourglass. Tip this “hourglass” upside down, swirl the bottles, and in seconds a beautiful “tornado” appears.

What Does It Teach?

Use this experiment to introduce students to kinetic energy and potential energy. Help students discover how air pressure and density work together to create an incredible force of nature. Learn about the science of vortex energy, the swirling, twisting and spiraling action that can be found everywhere in nature.

What size bottle should I use?

Any size bottles will work with the tornado tube but we recommend using 1 liter bottles. We have found that the 1 liters contain just enough liquid to demonstrate the energy of the vortex. It is also the easiest for your kids to hold on to.