Crush the Can Experiment


If you are a student who is in middle school, and have an interest in science related topics, then this article is for you. You will most likely get a science project to make on your own, and in this article, we will teach you a scientific method to crush a can. Asides from being a simple science project, it is also a cheap and easy way to get rid of cans to recycle them.

To perform the ‘crush the can’ experiment, you will need a few things that are easy to get a hold of. Let the class (your audience) know that the purpose of this experiment will be to demonstrate the effect of changing pressures on a tin can. This will teach them about the effects of pressure on the weather and underwater, etc.

You will need

  • An empty tin can (a beer or soft drink can will do nicely)
  • A container
  • Some ice cubes
  • Water
  • A Bunsen burner (you can borrow this from your school’s chemistry lab for this experiment)


#1. Fill some water in the can

Take the can that you have chosen for this experiment and pour a little water into it. Put the can over an un-lit Bunsen burner.

#2. Fill the container with ice cubes4

Take the container and fill it with cold water, and also add in the ice cubes. Stir the ice cubes until they have melted and been absorbed into the cold water, making it even colder.

#3. Evaporate the water from the can

This is one of the interesting steps in this experiment. Turn on the Bunsen burner and let the water in the can heat up and evaporate. This evaporation will create steam within the can, which will increase the pressure inside the can, with the pressure exerting an outward force.

The air outside the can has a different amount of pressure and so it will push the can inwards.

#4. Turn off the Bunsen burner

Turn off the Bunsen burner and put the can on a soft and non-flammable surface. Keep in mind that the pressure inside the can is still high, so be careful while handling the can.

#5. Pour ice cold water on the can

This is the best part of the experiment and will be sure to awe your audience and impress your teacher enough to give you an A grade for this science project. Take the container containing the ice cold waer and pour it onto the can. As the cold water enters in and around the can, it will rapidly crush into itself.

The scientific explanation for this is that the boiling water inside the can had turned to steam, which had turned back into water through the process of condensation. The cold water will provide an instant difference in the pressure inside the can, causing it to crumple in on itself. The reason it crumples in on itself is because the air pressure outside the can will be a lot higher than inside the can, causing it to crush inwards.

If you enjoyed reading this article and would like to read about more do it yourself science projects for you to do, leave a comment below.

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