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Can You Pierce a Potato with a Straw?

(Physics for ages 5+)

If you’re looking for an entertaining activity to try, this might just be it! Potatoes are pretty firm, and straws are pretty flimsy. Could you ever imagine being able to stick a flimsy straw through such a firm tuber? Well, it is possible, as the video above shows, and here’s how you can do it at home:

 

Materials

Potato
Butter knife
Straw
Pencil
Adult supervision (Adult supervision at all times please)

 

Procedure

  1. First, try piercing your potato with the butter knife. Be very careful to not stab yourself though! How far into the potato can you stab the butter knife? Can you pierce it all the way through?
  2. Next, try piercing the potato with your pencil. How far can into the tuber can you get the pencil?
  3. Now, try your straw. What happens when you first try to pierce the potato with the straw?
  4. This time, cover one end of your straw with your thumb and try piercing the potato again. What happened this time? Were you able to push the straw all the way through?

 

Concept

When you cover the one end of the straw, air gets trapped inside and creates pressure. This pressure makes the straw a lot stronger than it is normally, which makes it able to puncture and get all the way through the potato. Pretty neat!