The purpose of this activity is to allow students to think critically to answer a seemingly simple question. In this case, it’s answer an old idiom that says an empty can will make more noise than a full one. You can either examine that question literally (which is what this experiment covers), or the students can look at this question figuratively (do people that have very little expertise/knowledge talk more than someone who is educated in the field?). The students will need to use the scientific method to determine a way to answer that question. They will also need to design a test to empirically show that an empty can/jar is louder than a full one.
This gives students the opportunity to look at a famous idiom in two ways; literally and figuratively. Although this activity focuses on answering the question literally, there is still the opportunity for students to investigate the question figuratively.