In this activity , students will make a car powered by the elastic energy of a balloon.

This car converts potential energy into kinetic energy, unlike your family car which converts chemical energy into kinetic energy

Balloons are elastic and store potential energy when they are filled with air. When the air is released, the potential energy is converted into the energy of motion, which is also known as kinetic energy. This is the energy you see when the car is propelled forward.

The more potential energy is stored, the more kinetic energy the car will have when you let it go!

### Objectives

• Observe and describe the conversion of energy from potential to kinetic energy.

### Materials

• Per Class:
hammer
nail

• Per Student:
1 tongue depressor
2 short pieces of straws cut the width of the tongue depressor
1 straw
2 bamboo skewers
4 plastic pop bottle lids
1 balloon

### Key Questions

• What happens when you blow the balloon bigger?
• How can you make the car travel further or take off faster?

### What To Do

1. Using the hammer and nail, punch a hole in the center of the pop bottle lid.
2. Using masking tape, attach the balloon to the straw. Make sure there are no holes in the balloon by blowing into the straw.
3. Attach the two short pieces of straws to the tongue depressor. These will be the axles for the wheels.

1. Attach the four wheels using the skewers. This may be a bit tricky! You may have to adjust the bottle cap to make sure it doesn’t rub against the side of the tongue depressor.

1. Attach the balloon and straw to the top of the car using masking tape. Make sure the straw is over the edge so there is enough room to blow into the straw!

1. Blow into the balloon, pinch the straw and let go! Watch as the car takes off!​

Survivors

Artist: Jeff Kulak

Jeff is a senior graphic designer at Science World. His illustration work has been published in the Walrus, The National Post, Reader’s Digest and Chickadee Magazine. He loves to make music, ride bikes, and spend time in the forest.

Egg BB

Artist: Jeff Kulak

Jeff is a senior graphic designer at Science World. His illustration work has been published in the Walrus, The National Post, Reader’s Digest and Chickadee Magazine. He loves to make music, ride bikes, and spend time in the forest.

Comet Crisp

Artist: Jeff Kulak

Jeff is a senior graphic designer at Science World. His illustration work has been published in the Walrus, The National Post, Reader’s Digest and Chickadee Magazine. He loves to make music, ride bikes, and spend time in the forest.

T-Rex and Baby

Artist: Michelle Yong

Michelle is a designer with a focus on creating joyful digital experiences! She enjoys exploring the potential forms that an idea can express itself in and helping then take shape.

Buddy the T-Rex

Artist: Michelle Yong

Michelle is a designer with a focus on creating joyful digital experiences! She enjoys exploring the potential forms that an idea can express itself in and helping then take shape.

Geodessy

Artist: Michelle Yong

Michelle is a designer with a focus on creating joyful digital experiences! She enjoys exploring the potential forms that an idea can express itself in and helping then take shape.

Science Buddies

Artist: Ty Dale

From Canada, Ty was born in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1993. From his chaotic workspace he draws in several different illustrative styles with thick outlines, bold colours and quirky-child like drawings. Ty distils the world around him into its basic geometry, prompting us to look at the mundane in a different way.

Western Dinosaur

Artist: Ty Dale

From Canada, Ty was born in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1993. From his chaotic workspace he draws in several different illustrative styles with thick outlines, bold colours and quirky-child like drawings. Ty distils the world around him into its basic geometry, prompting us to look at the mundane in a different way.