Apply the Science

Make Archimedes Proud

Here’s a way to find out firsthand how Archimedes’ screw works. These workers are going to build one. You can, too!

What you'll need:

- two bowls

- a plastic pipe

- clear, plastic tubing

- packing tape

- water

- food coloring


Wrap the plastic tubing around the pipe. The tubing should form three to five spirals like the threads of a screw.


Tape the tubing in place. Each end should stick out from the pipe a little bit.


Place the two bowls near each other. Fill the first with water. Add a couple drops of food coloring to the water.


Place the pipe so that one end of the tubing is below the surface of the water.


Turn the pipe as you keep it tilted. Watch the water climb up the tubing! Keep turning as the water climbs and pours from the tubing into the second bowl.

Was Archimedes right?