Name Cathy Mariotti Ezrailson

Address 2308 Settler's Way, The Woodlands, TX 77380

Phone (281) 364-9037

Fax (281) 298-6895


Low Cost



Pressure measurements with depth are difficult to take in the physics classroom. Options in the past have been to use a swimming pool if your school had one (ours doesn't). Since only depth is important with pressure measurements, the Port-a-Pool is an easily used, portable substitute for a standard swimming pool. And, it can be used in the physics classroom or hallway outside. Students can easily take pressure measurements, using a low-pressure gauge and weighted tubing lowered into the water-filled Port-a-Pool. Other more sophisticated pressure probes may also be used, but are not necessary.

Support required for apparatus (ie. special needs in order to set up the equipment at the AAPT meeting): I will need an excess of 8-foot ceiling, a stool or small step ladder in order to lower the tubing into the Port-a-Pool, and the ability to duct tape the apparatus to a wall. I would also need accessibility to a water source in order to fill the pool. I can use 2-liter bottles if there is a way to fill them.

Approximate size: The Port-a-Pool is 8 feet high and I will need about a 4 foot square area in order to demonstrate it.

Does this apparatus require Electrical Power? No
Is this apparatus intended for use with and overhead projector? No
Will you be present to set up your apparatus? Yes

Equipment required to construct apparatus:

1 plastic fluorescent tube cover Home Depot n/a 3.50
1 PVC end-cap Home Depot n/a .99
Silicone sealant Home Depot n/a 2.00
Clear packing tape Home Depot n/a 1.50 10ft
1/4 inch clear plastic tubing Walmart n/a 2.50
4 oz lead sinker Academy n/a .35
Duct tape (small amount) Home Depot n/a 1.00
Iow-pressure gauge Grainger Ascroft # 2C641 30.94
Optional meter/yard sticks Sherwin-Williams n/a free
Total cost...................................................................................... $ 42.78

Sketch (computer generated if possible)

8 foot fluorescent tube cover 4 oz lead sinker 2 -metersticks or tapemeasure 1/4 inch tubing (optional) Pressure gauge 1-3 psi Pvc end-cap


The Lab:

Pressure Measurements in a "Port-a-Pool"

Materials for each Port-a-Pool: 1 plastic fluorescent tube cover 1 PVC end-cap (1 1/2") Silicone sealant Clear packing tape Materials for the pressure apparatus: 10ft 1/4 inch clear plastic tubling 4 oz lead sinker Duct tape Inexpensive low-pressure gauge that measures from 0-3 or 0-5 psi such as the Ascroft gauge # 2C641 purchased from Grainger (or probe**)

Purpose: To facilitate showing how pressure varies with depth in the physics classroom. Procedure:


**Variations: Even though this lab is designed to use the Port-a-Pool as a stand-alone apparatus. However, it can be used with a CBL and pressure gauge or MBL and pressure gauge with Logger Pro or other data gathering software.