Good Morning Scientists! Today we have a super fun experiment for you to test energy transfer with a fun POP! My little scientist loved this experiment and yours will too!
Ping-Pong Ball(s) (You may want to have a couple on hand just in case they get stuck up high)
DIY Ping-Pong Popper (Adults only build)
- Adult Only Build: Cut a racket ball so that you end up with two halves that are slightly less then half a racket ball. If you slice it in half they will be to hard to turn inside out.
- Find a nice clear area with pavement. **Please be extra careful if using the street, do not attempt this near moving cars** Start by holding out a racket ball straight in front of you and dropping the ball. Then do the same with a ping-pong ball. Flip the racket ball that is slightly less then half (DIY Ping-pong Popper) inside out. **Use caution when flipping the racket ball inside out as it can sting if it pops in your hand** Hold the DIY Ping-Pong Popper out in front of you with the dip facing upward and drop the popper so your little scientist can see how high it goes when it pops.
- Show your little scientist the DIY ping-pong popper with the ping-pong ball in the dip, and ask them to predict how high they think the ping-pong ball will go. Hold your ping-pong popper straight ahead of you with the ping-pong ball on top, release the ping-pong popper and observe what happens.***Little Scientist Hack: my three year old discovered an easier way to get his ping-pong popper to pop, he just launched his with his hand. We had a great time trying the investigation this way too.***
This investigation is a great way to show your little scientist how energy transforms from one form to another. In this investigation when you flipped the Ping-pong popper inside out you increased the popper’s potential energy or stored energy. When you dropped the popper onto the ground the energy was transferred into sound energy (pop sound) and kinetic energy (energy of motion). The law of conservation of energy states that energy can not be created nor destroyed it can only transfer into different forms of energy. Our ball eventual drops to the ground due to gravity (the force that pulls objects to Earth’s surface).