Theme: Tinkering & Making

Pegboard Water Factory


Objective: Children will tinker with materials to explore water flow.

 

‹ Return to Theme

What You Will Need

  • 2' × 4' sheets of pegboard (available inexpensively from hardware and home stores)
  • Tubing – clear vinyl or PVC (available inexpensively from hardware and home stores)
  • Funnels – different sizes
  • 9 oz. plastic cups with different sized holes drilled in different places, such as the bottom or sides
  • Bendable wire
  • Zip ties (available inexpensively at hardware and home stores)
  • Water table or small wading pool

What To Do

  1. Fasten the pegboard to the wall, or brace it with a tub of water at the bottom.
  2. Connect the tubing and funnels to the pegboard using zip ties or bendable wire.
  3. Have the children take turns pouring water into the tops of the funnels and the tubing; watch the water flow downward.
  4. Make cup holders out of the wire by making a loop and sticking the ends of the wires through two holes in the pegboard. Twist the wire ends together behind the pegboard to secure.
  5. Have the children experiment with moving the tubes and making different arrangements on the pegboard to create water flow.
  6. Ask the children what they could do to make the water flow from one tube into another before the water flows to the bottom.
  7. Help the children with rearranging the materials to do this.
  8. Ask the children what they could do with the tubes to get all of the water to flow into the same cup at the bottom.
  9. Assist the children with rearranging the materials to accomplish this.
  10. Discuss how making small changes to the tubes affects the water flow.
  11. Discuss the fact that the water always flows downward.

Guiding Student Inquiry

  • Tell me what might happen to the water if you pour it into the top of the funnel.
  • Describe what might happen if you pour the water into the tubing.
  • Explain what happened to the water when you moved the tubes.
  • Describe how you changed the water flow.
  • Tell me why some water stays in some of the cups.
  • Explain what you did with the tubes to get the water to flow into the same cup at the bottom.
  • Tell me why you think the water always flows downward.

Explore, Extend & Integrate

  • Make several pegboard water factories for children to explore. Try using different materials.
  • Try adding food coloring to the water so the children can more easily see the water flow.
  • Place funnels, cups, and tubing in the water table for further experimentation.
  • On another day, discuss water pressure using the lesson, Under Pressure

Check for Children’s Understanding

  • Could children explain that the water flows through the funnel?
  • Could children describe that the water will flow through the tube?
  • Could children explain that moving the tubes changed the water flow?
  • Could children explain that some of the water stays in the cups because of the placement of the holes?
  • Could children explain what they did with the tubes to get the water to flow into the same cup?
  • Could children explain gravity as the reason water always flows downward?

Did You Know?

When water pours from a container, it always flows downward. This is due to gravity. If a force, such as the tube, is applied to the water, it will flow in the direction that the force has pushed it. For instance, if the tube (a force) is directed toward the left or right, the water will be pushed in the same direction the tube is pointing. Once the tube (the force) is removed, gravity will take over, and the water will flow down toward the ground.

Water poured into a funnel will fill the wide part of the funnel quickly. The flow of the water will slow down as the water reaches the narrow end of the funnel. Water in a tube will flow toward the end that is closest to the ground. This is because gravity pulls everything down toward the Earth.

Did You Know?

When water pours from a container, it always flows downward. This is due to gravity. If a force, such as the tube, is applied to the water, it will flow in the direction that the force has pushed it. For instance, if the tube (a force) is directed toward the left or right, the water will be pushed in the same direction the tube is pointing. Once the tube (the force) is removed, gravity will take over, and the water will flow down toward the ground.

Learn More


Vocabulary

  • pegboard – a board with holes into which hooks or pegs can be placed for hanging things.
  • funnel – a tool shaped like a cone. It has a narrow tube at the small end.
  • tubing – a length of long, hollow rubber used to hold or carry liquids.
  • flow – to move in a slow, steady stream.
  • downward – moving toward a lower place.
  • gravity – the force to which all objects are attracte.

Vocabulary

  • pegboard
  • funnel
  • tubing
  • flow
  • downward
  • gravity

Child-Friendly Definitions

Lesson Tips

  • You might want to place waterproof smocks on the children before this activity.
  • Place old shower curtains or vinyl tablecloths under the water table or pool to keep the area dry.
  • If the weather is warm, you could do this activity outside.

Books

  • All the Water in the World by George Ella Lyon
  • Water by Frank Asch
  • Water Dance by Thomas Locker (National Geographic Learning)
  • No More Water in the Tub! By Ted Arnold

Common Core State
Standards Initiative

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.[2]

Visit the CCSS website

Important Legal Disclosures & Information

  1. While we believe that the books and resources recommended may be of value to you, keep in mind that these are suggestions only and you must do your own due diligence to determine whether the materials are appropriate and suitable for your use. PNC has no sponsorship or endorsement agreement with the authors or publishers of the materials listed.

  2. 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.

Read a summary of privacy rights for California residents which outlines the types of information we collect, and how and why we use that information.