Experimenting with science - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Experimenting with science

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Ever wonder what keeps fish afloat? If you didn't know before, you're about to find out.

It's all part of a new learning experience at Birch Aquarium at Scripps, where you can take the science out of the ocean and put it in a bottle.

Think Tank is a hands-on learning experience for kids of all ages. This experiment is all about buoyancy. As a scuba diver, I'm highly interested in these pressure-related principles.

Say the words "ideal gas law" and you're likely to lose your audience. Squeeze a plastic container with a make-believe scuba diver and you make a bigger impression.

"Fish have what's called a swim bladder and it works the same as our divers, and they have a gland that helps them fill it up with gases when they want to go up to the surface and become more buoyant. And when they want to sink down and burp it out, and they have less air in their body. It helps control where they are in the water column," Birch Aquarium Educator Danielle Carter said.

When these kids visit the aquarium again, they'll have a better understanding of what allows fish to swim and why they don't just sink to the bottom.

"They're excited to do a science experiment, and even more excited they get to take the experiment home," Carter said.

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