Science with Shields: Episode #42 – Can Crusher


ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — In this episode of Science with Shields, Christy Shields shows you how to crush a can.

What you need: 

  1. Soda can
  2. Bowl
  3. Tongs
  4. Cold water
  5. Tablespoon of water
  6. Stove


Rinse the soda can out and fill it with a tablespoon of water. By the stove, stick a bowl filled with cold water. You can chill the water in the refrigerator. Next, have a parent or guardian boil the water in the can for one minute on the stovetop.  Once a minute is up, again have a parent or guardian flip the can over using tongs into a bowl with cold water. Watch it immediately be crushed!


The soda can is filled with water and air. Boiling the water changes it from its liquid form to a gas form. This is called water vapor. This water vapor pushes the air that was in the can at first, into the atmosphere. When the can is turned upside down and place in the water, it creates an airtight seal from the surface of the water in the bowl. All the water vapor turns into a drop or two of liquid taking up less pace in the soda can. The water does not exert much pressure inside the walls, and none of the outside air can get back in, so the air pressure outside of the can is strong enough to crush it! Air pressure is important to forecasting the weather. Areas of low pressure, like in the soda can typically bring us wet or unsettled weather, while high pressure brings us nice sunny days.

Check out more Science with Shields episodes on WTAJ Plus.

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