Students watched curiously as Dr. Frassinelli prepared for the science experiment he was doing in class that day to help them make a connection to the curriculum they'd been learning.
With an empty Pepsi can, a small tank filled with ice water, some tongs, and a portable burner sitting on the table in front of him, the Lower School Science teacher began his experiment.
"Heating a tablespoon or so of water inside the coke can make the water boil," he explained to the fourth-graders as he picked up the can with the tongs he'd brought and began holding it above the burner. "The water changes to steam, and since the steam is hotter than boiling water, it creates a storm-like effect inside the can. As the storm intensifies inside it, the steam escapes out the top."
After heating the can for a few moments he quickly forced it into the cold water, causing the can to instantly crush.
Fascinated by what they had just seen and wanting to know more, they collectively began to ask questions, while Dr. Frassinelli explained that since the air in the can was thin, and the temperature of the air and water outside the can was colder and thicker, it had crushed the can.
Exploring science through visual learning and experiments is a common occurrence for lower schoolers in Dr. Frassinelli's class and something that helps students become more engaged with what they're learning.
'I like being able to create an environment for students that makes them want to ask questions and challenges them to want to know about the world of science around them," Dr. Frassinelli said. "It's nice to see them excited to learn."