Extreme Science: Marshmallow Shooters - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Extreme Science: Marshmallow Shooters

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What you will need:

  1. ½” PVC pipe (you will need at least 6 feet in length)
  2. ½” PVC pipe fittings;
  3. 90 degrees elbows
  4. Straight coupler
  5. 45 degree elbows
  6. End caps
  7. “T” fittings
  8. PVC glue and primer
  9. Saw or pipe cutter
  10. Sandpaper
  11. Paint (optional)
  12. Mini marshmallows
  13. Adult supervision

Procedure:

1) Cut the following lengths from your PVC pipe

  • 1 ½”
  • 2 1/8”
  • 2 ¼”
  • 3 ¼”
  • 3 3/8”
  • 3 ½”
  • 3 ¾”
  • 4 ½”
  • 6 3/8”
  • 6 ¾”
  • 7”
  • 13 ¼”
  • 16”

2) If using a saw to cut your pipe, you will need to sand the ends to remove any burs or shavings that are attached so that they will fit into your fittings easily.

3) Dry fit all of your pieces together as shown. After making sure that they all fit together nicely, pull them apart and glue them as directed using your PVC glue and primer. Remember that they will go together much easier and a little tighter once they have glue on them. Dry fitting them together before gluing is always a good idea but do not force them together as you dry fit them because they will be difficult to pull back apart due to friction. See drawing below:

 Marshmallow Shooter Diagram

4) Once your glue and/or paint is dry, insert the “L” shaped mouthpiece into the appropriate fitting and adjust it to where it feels comfortable to you. Now, insert a mini marshmallow into the end of the mouthpiece and blow as hard as you can. Again, please make sure that you are not aiming at anyone’s face. We don’t want anybody to get hurt. See how far you can shoot a marshmallow or have contests to see who is the best aim.

What is going on?

Air is all around us. Even though you cannot see the air, and most of the time we don’t even feel it or notice the air that surrounds us, air has pressure. There is 14.7 pounds of pressure that is constantly pushing on you! It is pushing on your face and on your hands. It is also pushing on the marshmallows that you may have in your hand right now. When you place a marshmallow into the marshmallow shooter, then put your mouth over the end of the shooter and blow, you are increasing the air pressure behind the marshmallow. Since the only openings are at the mouthpiece and at the end of the barrel, the marshmallow will be “pushed” by the air pressure you have built up using the power of your lungs through the PVC pipe and out the end of the barrel. There is no need to block off any of the other PVC pipes in your shooter. When you blow air into the mouthpiece, the air pressure will increase behind the marshmallow and propel it forward. As it moves forward, it will push the surrounding air molecules in front of it. These air molecules will move where there is the least amount of resistance. Since there is only one opening at the barrel of your shooter, all of the air molecules will escape out of the end of the barrel. The marshmallow will also follow this same path of least resistance and be propelled through the air towards your target.

Try this:

Try using different lengths of straight PVC pipes to see if the length will make a difference in the distance and/or accuracy of your marshmallow. Try to figure out why this may (or may not) make a difference. Have fun and please be safe!

Radical Rick
Extreme Science
www.ExtremeScienceFun.com
509-892-7621

 

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