Saturday Science: Centrifugal Force

If you and your children happen to be outside playing with water, you might consider this quick experiment for a bit of fun. All you need is water, a bucket with a handle, and someone who is physically able to spin the bucket full of water.
Saturday Science, Centrifugal Force  (1)
First, fill your bucket with water.
Then stand with the bucket at your side and quickly rotate your shoulder so that the bucket swings in a wide circle over your head and back down.
If you do this fast enough, you should notice that the water stays in the bucket, even when the bucket is upside down!
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Compare this to if you slowly flip the bucket upside down, all the water pours out.
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Why does this happen? Centrifugal force.

When something is spun around fast enough, the force of that spinning will push the object being spun away from the center of the rotation. This is how you can turn a bucket of water upside down and not have all the water fall out!

Be aware before trying this though, it may take your children a few tries to figure out how fast to spin the bucket. And in the mean time, prepare for them and you to get splashed. Its all in the name of science though!


Be sure to see what my Saturday Science co-hosts are up to this week!
Colorful Magic Milk from P is for Preschooler
Rocks and Minerals: Scratch Test from Lemon Lime Adventures
Space Ice Melt Science Sensory Play from Little Bins For Little Hands

For more hands-on science experiments, be sure to check out our Pinterest board:Follow Science Experiments for Kids on Pinterest.

Link up your science posts below!

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6 Comments to Saturday Science: Centrifugal Force

  1. I love the simplicity of this experiment! We’re definitely trying this – but on one of the warmer days (because I know my daughter will want to try to splash the water ON her! lol!)

  2. Pinning this one to try with the kids this summer. I know it will be fun! (I can just see the 6 y.o. trying to spin the bucket fast enough…)

  3. […] out this easy centrifugal force bucket experiment found at¬† You can also try this experiment with a penny in the […]

  4. […] Centrifugal Force from Suzy Homeschooler¬† […]

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