4 hot glue guns and glue sticks, or duct tape
For each student:
sport drink cap (with pop-out nozzle)
When the balloon is released, where will the air go — up, down, or to the sides?
What would be the opposite and equal reaction, according to Newton’s third law?
What To Do
- If using glue guns, set up four hot glue gun stations around the classroom. This ensures that the mess will be contained!
- Hand out a CD, a sport drink cap, and a balloon to each student.
- Glue the bottom of the sport drink cap to the shiny side of the CD, making sure that the hole in the cap and CD are aligned. Hold for a few seconds or until the glue is dry.
- Put the balloon over the top of the sport drink cap.
- Blow up the balloon through the CD.
- Pinch or twist the neck of the balloon to prevent the air escaping.
- Place the hovercraft on the ground and let go of the balloon
Teacher Tip: Hovercrafts seem to work better if the CD’s shiny side is facing up.
Drag the hovercraft along the ground with the balloon deflated. Blow up the balloon and do the same thing. Why is it easier to move when the balloon is inflated? Less friction.
How can you alter your hovercraft to make it go faster? Slower? (Bigger/smaller balloon). Design an experiment to test your theory.
Science World Resources | Full lesson & other activities | Balloons
Science World Resources | Full lesson & activities | Air
Science World Resources | Full lesson & activities | The Air Up There
(A Kindergarten unit with similar air-related activities for younger students)