Cooperative Learning Experience Through the Flipping Lid Demo

Robert Cholewick Whitney Young A/C
211 S. Laflin
Chicago, Illinois 60607


To demonstrate a need for safety in the science lab through a series of learning
experiences. For all grade levels.


You will need a can with a snug fitting lid, like a coffee can or a Pringles
can. You will need to cut out a hole in the bottom of the can that is less than
1/4 inch in diameter. At the top edge of the can you need to make a hole about
1/2 inch in diameter.


With the plastic lid in place fill the can with methane from a gas jet
until you have flushed the can to remove the air. Turn off the gas jet and set
the can down on its lid. Light the gas coming out of the hole you cut in the
bottom of the can (that has become the top). Stand back and see what happens.
After the explosion, have the students work in groups of three in order to
create a cartoon depicting the flipping lid demonstration. One student will be
the artist, the second will be the speaker presenting the results to the class,
and the third will serve as the mediator who can go to other groups comparing
information. The teacher can answer questions only with yes or no. The cartoon
should be on a sheet of paper divided into four numbered squares depicting what
they observed in chronological order. Have the presenter explain the cartoon to
the class and hang completed work in the classroom.

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