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Pool Plunge – Linear Relationship between Water Depth and Pressure

Experiment #3 from Real-World Math with Vernier

Education Level
High School


If you dive to the bottom of a swimming pool you will feel an increasing pressure on your eardrums as you descend. The deeper you dive, the more water there is above you to push down on your body and your eardrums, so the more pressure you experience. There is a simple mathematical relationship between your depth in the pool and the pressure you feel.

In this activity you will lower a section of tubing into a water-filled pipe and collect pressure readings at different depths with the use of a Gas Pressure Sensor. You will then find a model for your data and use this model to understand the relationship between depth and pressure.


  • Record pressure versus depth data for water.
  • Model pressure versus depth data with a linear relationship.
  • Interpret the slope and intercept of the linear model.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following sensors and equipment. Additional equipment may be required.

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This experiment is #3 of Real-World Math with Vernier. The experiment in the book includes student instructions as well as instructor information for set up, helpful hints, and sample graphs and data.

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