Objective: Children will explore water flow and pressure and learn how firefighters need and use water in their job.‹ Return to Theme
Note: This lesson involves the use of water. You may want to do the activity outside.
Firefighters are important community helpers who work very hard to keep people and communities safe. Firefighters extinguish (put out) fires, rescue people from fires, and try to prevent fires. Fighting fires is a dangerous and exhausting job. When firefighters are not out fighting fires, they make sure that their equipment is clean and working. They also practice how to fight fires. Firefighters wear special clothing to protect themselves from the fire, heat, and smoke.
Pressure controls water flow. Water flow is slower when there is less pressure and water flow is faster when there is more pressure. Pressure can be controlled in many ways. Firefighters use a pumper truck to increase the pressure on the water that comes from a fire hydrant. The extra pressure provided by the pumper truck pushes the water through the fire hose with more force, making the water flow quicker and further.
During your experiment, if the container is full of water, the water will come out forcefully from the bottom hole because there is a lot of water pushing down and applying pressure to the water at the bottom. The water flowing out of the top hole has the least amount of pressure on it so the water will flow with less force and travel a shorter distance. The width of the holes also affects the flow rate. Smaller holes create more pressure, so they increase the flow rate of the water.
These lessons are aligned with the Common Core State Standards ("CCSS"). The CCSS provide a consistent, clear understanding of the concepts and skills children are expected to learn and guide teachers to provide their students with opportunities to gain these important skills and foundational knowledge.
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There are currently no Common Core Standards for pre-k, but these lessons are aligned as closely as possible to capture the requirements and meet the goals of Common Core Standards. However, these lessons were neither reviewed or approved by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices or the Council of Chief State School Officers, which together are the owners and developers of the Common Core State Standards.