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Fill Me Up

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:


Below are some images of containers. Imagine you put them under a steady stream of water.

What would the graphs look like if you plotted the height of the water level against the volume of water as the containers fill up?

Draw a sketch graph for each container. You will need to consider which portions of each graph will be straight and which will be curved. Can you suggest suitable units and scales for the axes?



Conical flask


Boiling tube


Round-bottomed flask


Pint glass

Volumetric flask

Once you have sketched the graphs, you might like to plot the graphs by collecting some data.
One way to do this is to collect suitable containers, add water in fixed amounts and measure the height at each stage. Do your experimental graphs match your sketches?

Thanks to Euan Willder for the pictures of the Boiling Tube and Round Bottomed Flask