At-Home Science – Inverted Aqua Vac


Written by Connor Smith, Science Content Specialist.

Tired of science experiments that are too complicated or convoluted to recreate at home? We totally understand. Science Content Specialist Connor Smith’s new blog series, At-Home Science, is a fun and easy way to conduct safe science experiments in the comfort of your own home. It’s science you CAN try at home!

First up? A super cool Inverted Aqua Vac. With this steam vacuum trick, you’ll be able to fill an entire bottle with water—while it’s flipped upside down.

Take it away, Connor!

At-Home Science - Inverted Aqua Vac Materials
You’ll need a few materials to recreate this science experiment at home.

What You’ll Need

  • Glass bottle
  • Bowl full of water
  • Microwave
  • Oven mitt
First step? Fill your glass bottle with water.

How It’s Done

First up? Fill your glass bottle with a small amount of water. Then, place the bottle in the microwave and set the timer for one minute. Watch your bottle closely—if your water isn’t boiling, add a few seconds. If your glass bottle is too big, you can set it on its side inside the microwave. As you watch the water boil, you should observe your bottle fill up with steam. Once the water is boiling and steam has filled the inside of your bottle, use your oven mitt to remove the bottle from the microwave. Carefully carry the glass bottle to your bowl of water, flip the bottle upside down and let science do the rest!

Safety First

The bottle is going to be hot when you take it out of the microwave, so you must wear oven mitts (or use a similar protective material) to protect your hands. When walking from the microwave to the bowl, be careful not to spill the hot water on yourself—or anyone else.

How It Works

Like we said before, when you are boiling the water, the bottle begins to fill with steam. By flipping the bottle over in the bowl, we start to condense that steam back into water. Because steam takes up more room than water, when it condenses it creates a vacuum effect and sucks the water *up* into the bottle—creating your Inverted Aqua Vac!


How can you make the water go up faster or down slower? Try the following!

  • Different sizes of bottles
  • Different temperatures of water
  • More or less water in the bottle when you microwave it

Scientist call these variables, and you can change them to affect the outcome of your experiment. Let us know what you discover, and have fun exploring science… at home!

Disclaimer: When recreating a Thinkery experiment, recipe or DIY activity at home, children should be supervised and supported by a parent or guardian.

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