Making Models to Demonstrate Electrostatic Cyclone Hoppers

Part of the "Air Pollution Detecting Gardens" Collection


Students will use models to investigate and demonstrate cyclone hoppers.

Estimated Time

45 Minutes

Setting Required



  • S3L2. Students will recognize the effects of pollution and humans on the environment


  • Small cups (1 per small group)
  • Petroleum jelly (small scoop per small group)
  • Popsicle stick (1 per small group)
  • Sharpened pencil (1 per small group)
  • Dried oregano (small scoop per small group)


  1. Assist students in using a popsicle stick to apply petroleum jelly to the inner sides of a small paper cup (to represent a smokestack with a cyclone hopper).
  2. Demonstrate to students how to carefully stick a sharpened pencil in the bottom of the cup as a handle.
  3. Then, sprinkle oregano (to represent particle pollutants) into the bottom of the cup and spin the cup to collect the particle pollutants on the sides by centrifugal force.
  4. Review the Pollution Solutions site with students to discuss how cyclone hoppers work in factories and to explore other pollution solutions.