EI TV – Air Pressure!


Educational Innovations Newsletter - EI TVAir Pressure Videos!

It’s no wonder air pressure is one of our favorite science topics at Educational Innovations.  There are so many different aspects to explore… and no limit to the amount of “Super! Wow! Neat!®” reactions you’ll get from your students.  Whether you are teaching at the elementary school or university level, the subject of air pressure always leaves an indelible impression.

If you come across a video you’d like us to add to this list, leave us a comment below!

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You Said It! Air Pressure Product Reviews


Educational Innovations Newsletter - You Said It

At Educational Innovations, we love all sorts of scientific topics but we’ll admit that air pressure holds a special place in our hearts.  After all, air (and its pressure) is all around us, so why not celebrate this amazing area of science?

Teachers clearly prize our air pressure materials as much as we do—they are among some of our best loved products year after year.  Read on for candid reviews from our customers.

If you have a favorite Educational Innovations product, send us a comment below!  We’d love to share your review with your fellow teachers and science lovers.

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Why Is a Drinking Bird Like a Dog on a Hot Day?


Ted Beyer, Educational Innovations, Inc.By:  Ted Beyer

Summertime—sun and fun!  For most of us (in the northern hemisphere at least) that means hot weather.  Heat does interesting things to the world around us, and to us as well.  On a hot day you tend to perspire.  Your body does this for a good reason:  as the moisture evaporates, it cools your skin, and thus helps to regulate your body temperature.

In contrast, dogs don’t perspire—they don’t have sweat glands!  So on a hot day you will see dogs panting—lots of rapid, shallow breaths with their tongues looking bigger than usual hanging out of their mouths.  That’s the doggie way of cooling off.  They are moving air over a wet surface—again using evaporation to lower their body temperature.
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What’s the Weather? Check Your Weatherglass Barometer


Ted Beyer

by:   Ted Beyer

Predicting the weather is an age-old guessing game.

Over time, more and more sophisticated devices have been developed to aid in the guessing game.  Indeed, some of the largest computers in the world today are dedicated to modeling the weather using millions of data points collected all over the world—all in an effort to determine if going to the beach this weekend is a good idea, or if you should just stay home and binge watch Game of Thrones (again).

torricelli engraving from The Granger CollectionAfter temperature, one of the earliest scientific observations about the weather is the variation in barometric pressure.  Local changes in air pressure usually signal changes in the weather.  Falling pressure generally indicates rain, snow or wind storms, and increasing pressure most often indicates nicer weather.

One of the earliest gadgets used to try and track barometric pressure was the Weather Glass, also known as the Goethe Barometer [1].   Evangelista Toricelli [2] came up with the first truly accurate barometer—the classic, mercury-filled device—sometime around 1643-44.  [Note: Educational Innovations has a mercury-free version of this Science classroom “must-have.”] Read the rest of this entry »


The Microscale Vacuum Apparatus


Tami O'Connorby: Tami O’Connor

After the birth of my youngest child I decided to get a teaching position at a school closer to home. Until that point, I had only taught in the elementary grades. As it turned out, a seventh grade science position had opened up in the middle school in the next town, and, shortly after I filed my application, I was called in for an interview. Because it was already early June when the opening occurred, things moved along rather quickly.

The day after my interview I was called back to schedule a time to present a lesson to a class of students. The only day available just happened to be the second to last day of school, and the only class available just happened to be an 8th grade class… The school only went up to 8th grade, and on the last day of school, these 8th graders were participating in their moving up “fun” day at a local amusement park…

Microscale Vacuum ApparatusNow, anyone reading this probably recognizes that these kids—on the second to last day of their eighth grade year—had absolutely no interest in learning anything more from any of their regular teachers – much less a teacher they had never seen before. So, to say I was a little nervous is an understatement. I learned that they had just completed a unit on space, so after scouring my brain to come up with an interesting hands-on lesson that related to space, I decided to bring in the microscale vacuum apparatus from Educational Innovations.

Since most middle schools don’t have access to one, very few eighth grade students had ever seen a vacuum bell, so I gambled that the lesson I selected would hold their interest. With two team teachers, the science department chair, and the principal in the room to observe, this really was a lesson on “pressure!” Read the rest of this entry »