Endeavor Mission: The Styrofoam Cup Experiment

Weather Blog

We probably all know how dangerous diving in deep water can be.  The crushing pressure from the water can crush a human’s body.  Instead of demonstrating that, the scientists used styrofoam cups to get their point across.

The Rhode Island Teachers at Sea were able to decorate a styrofoam cup with their school names and reflections of their teacher cruise.

The cups were put into a mesh bag, attached to the multi-corer and dropped into Hudson Canyon, a place where the ocean floor is more than a mile below the surace.

Once brought back up the surface, the cups were only about 1/3 their original size!

In the atmosphere we live in, the air pressure is 14.7 pounds per square inch.  The cups were sent down approximately 2,000 meters (6,561 feet), and the pressure exerted on the cups was 2,900 pounds per square inch!  That extreme pressure pushed down on the cups and shrunk them to miniature versions of themselves.

Stephanie Balasco of the West Kingston Elementary School said, “a lot of kids only see science as some guy in a lab coat, and they’re not sure science is outside of that.  So it’s going to be cool to take this back to the classroom and show them.

Rhode Island Teachers at Sea cruise comes to an end Thursday morning after a quick visit to the Block Island Wind Farm.

-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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