Good afternoon scientists! Our whole family had a blast with the Balloon Blast Investigation. I’m sure your family will too!
Plastic Condiment Cup (Small Cup)
String (We used kitchen twine)
Plastic Drink Straw
Single Hole Punch
Tape (We used masking tape)
Optional: Small Toy(s) or Rock(s) to Test the Balloon Basket
**Please take care when blowing up the balloon(s) they may break and could pose a chocking hazard to small children**
- Have an adult blow up the balloon, and twist and clip with binder clip. This will hold the air inside the balloon until you are ready to “Blast Off”.
- Have an adult cut the drinking straw in half.
- Tape one half of the straw vertically (Up and Down) onto your blown up balloon.
- Find a safe location to hang to hang up your string. Place the string through the straw. Pull the string tight to get a good blast off. Remove the binder clip but hold the air in the balloon. Countdown and blast off your balloon. (You may have to blow up the balloon again and try a few times to get the hang of it, it took us a few tries)
- Try adding a basket to the balloon by hole punching two holes in a small plastic condiment container.
- Tie string to the container’s holes and tape to the sides of your balloon.
- Place the string through the straw. Pull the string tight to get a good blast off. Countdown and blast off your balloon. (Try send your balloon up with an empty basket then add a small toy or rock to see a change)
Our Balloon Blast is affected by the force of the air coming out of the balloon and by gravity pulling it back to the ground.
The balloon is able to “blast off” because of Newton’s Laws of Motion. Newton’s First Law of Motion states that an object at rest will remain at rest, and an object in motion will remain in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. In our experiment the balloon is resting or sitting still until the air inside is released. The air releasing causes the balloon to move. Your balloon Blast will eventually stop when the air runs out and the balloon will fall back down your string due to gravity. Gravity is the force that pulls an object towards a larger object, on planet Earth the Earth is the largest object. So on planet Earth all objects are pulled down to the ground. Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction. In our experiment the air coming out of the balloon causes the balloon to blast off in an equal but opposite direction.
If you try placing objects into the basket eventually you will reach a point where the balloon will no longer be able to blast off. This is because the air coming out of your balloon is not strong enough to overcome the extra weight added plus gravity pulling the whole balloon down.