For a science project for school, the “Crush the Can Experiment” is an interesting and educational demonstration. It shows the effects of pressure to the changing temperature in and outside a body. The main hypothesis of this experiment is an empty soda can with low internal air pressure collapses inwards because of the high water pressure outside the can. Here is how the experiment is set up:



Things you will need

  • Empty soda cans with the tab removed
  • Stove or Bunsen burner
  • Ice water (or ice cubes and water)
  • Tongs
  • Mixing bowl




  1. Rinse the empty soda can, and then add a few tablespoons of water in it to cover the bottom of the can.


  1. Place the can over the burner or stove.

  1. In a container, add the ice water, and stir it till the ice melts.


  1. Let the water in the can boil to evaporate it. This creates steam and pressure within the can. As the air tries to come outsie of the can, a pressure will be exerted from outside, and the steam inside will create a pressure inside the can.


  1. Remove the can when the water has fully boiled and evaporated with the tongs, and place it on a side.


  1. Now pour the cold water over the can. Or simpler, you can immerse it into the cold water container. It will crush immediately and lose its shape. This is due to the steam converting back into liquid through the process of condensation within the can. This process crushes the can.