Education Corner

Top 20 Fun Balloon Science Experiments

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Get ready to embark on a thrilling journey as we explore the fascinating science behind balloons.

Our round-up of the top 20 balloon-based science experiments is designed to elevate the curiosity of kids of all ages! These hands-on, educational activities will not only enhance your grasp of science basics but also ignite a passion for exploration and discovery.

1. Pop a Balloon Using an Orange Peel

By carefully peeling an orange and using the peel to pop a balloon, students will explore the intriguing world of chemical reactions and pressure.

2. The Magnifying Glass Balloon Pop Experiment

By using a magnifying glass to focus the sun’s rays onto a black balloon contained within another balloon, students can witness the remarkable phenomenon of the balloon popping due to the concentrated heat.

3. Balloon Powered Sponge Boat

Balloon Powered Sponge Boat

Prepare to set sail on a fascinating nautical adventure with the “Balloon Powered Sponge Boat” experiment! This engaging hands-on activity offers students a unique opportunity to explore the principles of buoyancy, propulsion, and energy conversion.

Learn more: Balloon-Powered Sponge Boat

3. Balloon Skewer

The “Balloon Skewer” experiment is a fantastic way to spark curiosity, challenge conventional wisdom, and foster a deeper understanding of the science behind everyday materials.

4. Balloon Powered Car

This exciting hands-on activity allows students to explore the principles of motion, force, and energy conversion in a fun and interactive way.

5. Learn about Swim Bladders

Learn about Swim Bladders

In this captivating hands-on activity, students will explore how fish control their position in the water column by creating their own swim bladders using balloons.

Learn more: Science Buddies

6. Boyle’s Law Experiment

By inflating a balloon and adjusting its size using a syringe, students can observe firsthand how changes in volume affect the pressure inside the balloon.

Through this experiment, students will gain a deeper understanding of Boyle’s Law and the fundamental concepts of gas behavior.

7. Balloon Rocket Science

Balloon Rocket Science

Engaging in the “Balloon Rocket Science” experiment not only sparks curiosity and excitement but also provides a practical application of scientific principles.

Learn more: Balloon Rocket Science for Kids

8. How many Pins to Pop a Balloon?

This captivating experiment offers students a thrilling opportunity to explore the concept of structural integrity and the delicate balance between pressure and resistance.

9. DIY Lung Model

This experiment not only provides a fun and interactive way to learn about the anatomy and function of the respiratory system but also encourages students to explore the concepts of inhalation, exhalation, and gas exchange.

10. Water Fountain Balloon

Get ready to witness a mesmerizing water and air pressure display with the “Water Fountain Balloon” experiment! In this captivating hands-on activity, students will create their miniature water fountain using a balloon and a water bottle.

11. DIY Water Balloon Parachute

Get ready to launch into the world of aerodynamics and gravity with the “DIY Water Balloon Parachute” experiment! This thrilling hands-on activity allows students to design and create their own parachutes using water balloons and various materials.

12. Hot and Cold Balloon Experiment

Hot and Cold Balloon Experiment

Through this experiment, students will gain a deeper understanding of how temperature affects the volume and pressure of gases.

Learn more: Hot and Cold Balloon Experiment

13. Deflated Balloon Experiment

Engaging in the “Deflated Balloon” experiment not only fosters a sense of curiosity and wonder but also provides a practical demonstration of scientific principles.

14. Create a Heart Pump Model

Create a Heart Pump Model

This hands-on activity offers students a captivating opportunity to create a model of a working heart pump using balloons.

Learn more: DIY Heart Pump

15. DIY Hovercraft

DIY Hovercraft

Get ready to defy gravity and glide on a cushion of air with the “DIY Hovercraft” experiment! This exciting hands-on activity offers students an opportunity to create their very own hovercraft using simple materials.

Learn more: DIY Hovercraft

16. Inflate a Balloon

Inflate a Balloon

By combining vinegar and baking soda inside a balloon, students will witness a remarkable reaction that results in the inflation of the balloon.

Learn more: Happy Brown House

17. Sink or Float

Sink or Float

By placing these filled balloons into a bucket of water, students can observe and analyze the different behaviors of the balloons—whether they sink or float.

Learn more: 123Homeschool4me

18. Magic Light Bulb

Magic Light Bulb

Prepare to witness a truly magical and illuminating experience with the “Magic Light Bulb Balloon Science Experiment”! In this enchanting hands-on activity, students will discover the mesmerizing properties of static electricity and light as they create their very own “magic” light bulb using a balloon.

19. Make a Vortex Cannon

By repurposing a plastic container, such as a large bottle or a trash can, and creating a small opening, students can generate a powerful ring of air known as a vortex.

20. Fireproof Balloon

Experience the astonishing magic of fire resistance with the “Fireproof Balloon” experiment! In this captivating hands-on activity, students will witness the incredible properties of a specially treated balloon that can withstand the heat of an open flame without bursting into flames.

Similar Posts:

  • 68 Best Chemistry Experiments: Learn About Chemical Reactions
  • Top 100 Fine Motor Skills Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers
  • 37 Water Science Experiments: Fun & Easy

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Hands on kids activities for hands on moms. Focusing on kids activities perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.

Balloon Rocket Race a Super Simple Science Experiment

Move & Learn Science Toddlers Grade School Kindergartners Preschoolers Balloons Experiment Outdoor Straws 9 Comments

Have a blast with your little astronauts and embark on an exciting balloon rocket adventure!

It’s an exhilarating combination of fun, science, and a little friendly competition. With just a few simple materials, you can launch your way into a world of learning and excitement.

This is a super simple science experiment with vertical balloon straw rockets for kids.

Teach kids about Newton’s third law of motion or simply have some fun!

This is a super simple science experiment with balloon rockets for kids. Teach them about Newton’s third law of motion or simply have some fun!

My kids just love balloons .

Recently we started showing my son how balloons fly crazy when you don’t tie them off and just let them go.

I was watching TVO Kids with them the other day. I love watching Bitz and Bob because they always have some kind of science experiment to do with your kids at the end.

On this particular episode they did balloons on a string.

This instantly reminded me of a balloon rocket science experiment from when I was a kid!

I grabbed the supplies and took my kids outside to give it a try a few days later since it was raining that day.

At first we just made our balloon rockets with string, straws, yarn and packing tape. Since that’s what I had on hand.

Super simple science experiment with vertical balloon straw rockets to teach kids about Newton’s third law of motion or simply have some fun!

Later we turned them into real rockets by adding fins with little pieces of paper.

Super simple science experiment with vertical balloon straw rockets to teach kids about Newton’s third law of motion or simply have some fun!

I also realized that thinner tape strips work much better. So we switched to using thin painters tape!

Also recommend packing tape as it adheres strong enough to stay on but not strong enough to pop the balloon.

For This Balloon Straw Rocket Science Experiment You Will Need:

Supplies needed to make your own balloon straw rocket science experiment.

  • long piece of string or yarn
  • painters tape
  • two clothespins (optional)
  • paper (optional)

Setting up Your Balloon Rockets Science Experiment

Find a location for your balloon rocket course.

Set up your course for balloon rocket race activity

First thing you need to do is decide where you are setting up the experiment course.

We did our balloon rocket race between two trees.

But this can be done indoors also between a chair and a doorknob or between two chairs.

Turn Straws Into Rockets (Optional)

create straw rocket base for balloon race experiment

Next, cut a piece of string or yarn long enough to go from one end of the course to the other and back again.

Or two pieces long enough to go from one end to the other and be tied at each end. (But don’t tie them yet!)

Next you need to get the straws prepared.

If you are choosing to decorate your balloon rockets then here is what we did. Older kids can do this part on their own!

Cut 3 triangles to use as the fins on the back of the balloon rocket. You want to have one of the corners a 90 degree angle (approximately).

Tip: we made this easy by taking a square and cutting the corners off diagonally.

Getting fins ready to turn straws into rockets

Next you want to tape 3 of these onto one end of a each straw to make it look like a rocket.

I taped on both sides of each triangle to make sure they would stick out and not just fall flat onto the surface of the straws.

If your kids love science and balloons as much as mine then they will love this Blowing Up a Balloon Experiment !

Setting up Your Balloon Rockets Course

Super simple science experiment with vertical balloon straw rockets to teach kids about Newton’s third law of motion or simply have some fun!

Now it’s time to tie up the balloon rocket course.

Attach the string(s) to your finish line or ending point.

Thread the straws onto the other two ends of the string(s) that are not tied on yet.

Tip: If you made them look like rockets then make sure to have them both point towards the tied end.

Once the straws are on you are free to tie the other ends to your starting points.

Super simple science experiment with vertical balloon straw rockets to teach kids about Newton’s third law of motion or simply have some fun!

Tips: Make sure there is enough room between the starting points for the balloon rockets to not be touching once they are blown up and taped on. Also make sure the string(s) is tight enough that they are straight and not droopy.

Note: If you have more than two children planning to participate you can always make more course lines by adding another string to the ending point and tying the other end to a 3rd or 4th starting point with more straws and balloons!

Now Tape Your Balloons to the Rocket Course

Super simple science experiment with vertical balloon straw rockets to teach kids about Newton’s third law of motion or simply have some fun!

Your final step in preparations will be attaching the balloons to each straw!

First thing to do is blow up your balloons. They need to be attached to the straw when fully blown up.

This is where I found the clothespins to be helpful!

TIP: After I blew each one up I would give the end a tiny twist and pop a clothespin one at the twist to stop it from deflating. (Optional as we did it many times before I thought of it.)

Once the balloons are blown up tape to the straws with the openings facing the back of the rockets.

I actually did them backwards the first time. Oops!

This is how NOT to tape the balloons on

Tip: If you do them backwards don’t attempt to take the tape off! It’s better to let them deflate and hope that the tape will come off on its own… my balloons popped and I had to grab some more.

This Hidden Colors Experiment is another one of my sons absolute faves!

Vertical Balloon Rockets Science Experiment 3-2-1-Blastoff!

Super simple science experiment with vertical balloon straw rockets to teach kids about Newton’s third law of motion or simply have some fun!

You are now ready to start the balloon straw rocket race!

Have your kids each hold one balloon and have it as far back on the starting line of the string as possible.

Or if only one child is participating they can hold one in each hand or you can hold one.

Start your countdown!

3-2-1-BLASTOFF!

Finally, let go of the ends of the balloon rockets at Blastoff and watch them zoom to the other end of the string to the finish line!

3-2-1-Blast-Off! Balloon straw rocket race experiment for kids.

This is a great time to talk about Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion : Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

The air blows out of the balloon (action).

The balloon rocket moves forward (reaction).

Balloon rocket science experiment for kids. super simple and fun.

Also take the time to discuss what the balloons did. Did it go straight? Spin around the string? Get stuck half way?

Tip: Having the balloons different colors helps to keep track of your results if you choose to document this like a real science experiment.

Gross motor fun chasing after balloons outside.

We did this balloon straw rocket experiment tons of times over!

Have your kids bring the straws back to the starting point and blow up the balloons to go again!

Bring your rockets back to the start line and race again and again.

If the balloons fall off, no worries, just tape them back on.

And if they don’t fall off then have fun blowing them up still attached to the string. Lol.

Blowing up balloons for preschoolers so we can race them again

Extend the Science Experiment

Try different set-ups to see what happens.

  • What happens if one is blown up smaller than the other?
  • What if you tape the balloon on sideways or on an angle? Does it spin?
  • What if you don’t actually let go completely and just let the air out? Does it make your hair or clothes move?
  • Try different sizes and shaped balloons.
  • What if the triangle fins are on an angle?
  • Try less fins or no fins?
  • What if the fins are really big or smaller?
  • Cut the string and stick the front of the straw into the end of the balloon and use a small elastic to secure it. Blow it up using the straw and then watch it fly freely. See where it goes like Mombrite did.

Keep going on the topic of actions having an equal and opposite reaction.

Or if you are ready for a different experiment now, check out one of our personal favorites: Magical Color Changing Milk Experiment

About Beck Poulsen

Beck is a stay at home mom with 2 young kids. A big brother and little sister. Having grown up working in kindergarten classes and helping to run Children's Ministry in various towns and cities across Ontario, Canada she constantly looking for ways to make learning fun and exciting. Beck has a lot of fun raising her own youngsters and wants to make sure they have the best childhood she can offer them. Follow Beck on her Facebook .

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Making Science Fun, Easy to Teach and Exciting to Learn!

Science Experiments

Balloon Blow-up Science Experiment

Can you blow up a balloon without using your mouth? In this simple science experiment, we’re going to show you how to do it with only a few everyday items you probably already have in your home. It makes a great experiment for young children because the set-up is simple and it only takes a few minutes to get to the exciting finale.

In addition to a video demonstration and detailed printable instructions, we also have the scientific explanation of how this simple chemical reaction works making it perfect for older scientists too.

Balloon Blow Up Science Experiment

JUMP TO SECTION: Instructions | Video Tutorial | How it Works

Supplies Needed

  • Small Soda Bottle
  • Baking Soda

Balloon Blow-up Science Lab Kit – Only $5

grade 2 balloon experiments

Use our easy Balloon Blow-up Science Lab Kit to grab your students’ attention without the stress of planning!

It’s everything you need to  make science easy for teachers and fun for students  — using inexpensive materials you probably already have in your storage closet!

Balloon Blow Up Science Experiment Instructions

Step 1 – Start with some questions: How do you blow up a balloon? What if I told you that you couldn’t blow air into it, do you think you could still inflate (blow-up) the balloon? Then observe the supplies for the experiments. Do you think they can be use to blow up the balloon? If so how? Write down your hypothesis (prediction).

grade 2 balloon experiments

Step 2 – Using a funnel, pour about a third of a cup of vinegar into the bottle. We used Apple Cider Vinegar, but any type of vinegar will work.

grade 2 balloon experiments

Step 3 – Then insert another funnel into the mouth of the balloon. We recommend using two different funnels. One funnel for filling the bottle with vinegar and one for the balloon. However, you can do the experiment with only one funnel. Just make sure you completely wash and dry the funnel after you add the vinegar and before you put it into the balloon. This is very important.

grade 2 balloon experiments

Step 4 – Place two teaspoons of baking soda into the funnel so it falls into the balloon. When the balloon is filled with the baking soda, carefully remove it from the funnel. 

grade 2 balloon experiments

Step 5 – Next, secure the mouth of the balloon over the mouth of the bottle. Take your time doing this and don’t let any of the baking soda fall out of the balloon and into the bottom of the bottle. Take a moment to make some observations. What will happen if we lift up the balloon? Write down your hypothesis (prediction) and then test to see if you were right!

grade 2 balloon experiments

Step 6 – While holding the bottle, lift the end of the balloon and allow the baking soda to drop into the bottle. 

grade 2 balloon experiments

Step 7 – What happens to the balloon? Was your hypothesis correct? Wondering what caused the balloon to inflate? Find out the answer in the how does this experiment work section below.

Video Tutorial

How Does the Science Experiment Work?

When baking soda (a base) and vinegar (an acid) are mixed together they create a chemical reaction that results in the formation of carbon dioxide gas. Gases do not have a specific shape or volume, rather they expand rapidly filling their container. Gases expand rapidly because their particles move at high speeds in all directions. As the carbon dioxide gas fills the bottle, it has nowhere else to go so it begins to fill the balloon. As the carbon dioxide gas fills the balloon, the balloon inflates. The more gas that is created, the larger the balloon will inflate.

The baking soda and vinegar chemical reaction will continue to inflate the balloon as long as there is still baking soda and vinegar to react. Once the reaction between baking soda and vinegar has stopped, the balloon will slowly begin to deflate.

An acid is a substance that tastes bitter, reacts with metals and carbonates, and turns blue litmus paper red. A base is a substance that tastes bitter, feels slippery, and turns red litmus paper blue.

Other Ideas to Try

Does changing the amount of baking soda and vinegar change the size of the balloon when it inflates? What would happen if you used another acid like lemon juice instead of the vinegar? Would it react the same with the baking soda?

I hope you enjoyed the experiment. Here are some printable instructions:

Balloon Blow-up Science Experiment

Instructions

  • Using a funnel, pour about a third of a cup of vinegar into the bottle. Tip: I used Apple Cider Vinegar, but any kind of vinegar will work.
  • Then insert another funnel into the mouth of the balloon. Tip: It is best to have two funnels, one for filling the bottle with vinegar and one for the balloon. If you only have one funnel, it is important that you completely wash and dry the funnel after you add the vinegar and before you put it into the balloon.
  • Place two teaspoons of baking soda into the funnel so it falls into the balloon. Then remove the balloon from the funnel.
  • Next, secure the the mouth of the balloon over the top of the bottle. Tip: Don’t let any of the baking soda drop into the bottle…yet!
  • While holding the bottle, lift the end of the balloon allowing the baking soda to drop into the bottle.
  • Watch in amazement as the balloon magically inflates!

Balloon Blow-up Science Experiment Steps

Reader Interactions

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November 2, 2017 at 11:00 am

Yeah but don’t just eyeball the measurements of things because if you use to much baking soda it will make the baloon spring a leak and all sorts of stuff will fly out and make a big mess.

I speak form experience

Seriously, don’t do this

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April 21, 2018 at 10:26 am

I did this experiment and it is perfect!

You need to hold properly the bottle when you mix the baking soda into vinegar.

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May 22, 2019 at 8:57 am

We’re doing science experiments at school and this one is brilliant! I loved it a lot.

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June 22, 2020 at 11:15 am

I love this experiment! My balloon grew 6 inches!

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June 19, 2023 at 11:17 pm

I tried and it worked well – Exited to do such experiment

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Playdough To Plato

Magic Balloons

Get ready for plenty of “oohs” and “aahs” from this surprisingly simple balloon science experiment! Kids will LOVE watching balloons magically inflate four different ways.

Follow the simple step-by-step below and then grab 30 more easy-to-follow science experiments kids will beg to repeat (plus a no-prep science journal to keep track of their results!) in our shop!

grade 2 balloon experiments

I grabbed my supplies for this balloon science experiment:

balloon8

  • 2 clean bottles
  • a teaspoon of sugar
  • baking soda
  • a packet of Pop Rocks candy
  • a roll of mint Mentos
  • a couple bottles of soda
  • and balloons {You’ll want the big, regular-sized balloons rather than water balloons.}

Magic Balloon #1: Warm Water and Yeast

Fun science experiment for kids. Blow up a balloon without using your own air!! {Playdough to Plato}

In our first bottle, we poured in about an inch of warm water and then dumped in the entire packet of yeast.  We swirled the yeast around a bit and then added the teaspoon of sugar and gave it another good swirl.  We put the balloon over the mouth of the bottle and then let it sit in the sun.

It only took about five minutes for the yeast to start bubbling and our balloon to start inflating!  “Ew, what is it?” C asked, looking at the foam that was starting to bubble.   “Yeast is a type of bacteria, so it’s actually a living thing,” I explained. “It’s eating the sugar that we added and when it eats the sugar, it creates a gas called carbon dioxide that makes all those bubbles. That carbon dioxide is filling up the balloon.”

Magic Balloon #2: Vinegar and Baking Soda

balloon4

In our second bottle for this balloon science experiment, we poured a couple inches of vinegar.  We prepped the balloon by using the funnel to fill half of it with baking soda.  I put the balloon over the mouth of the bottle and then C dumped in the baking soda.   The effect was instantaneous and the balloon quickly inflated as the bicarbonate baking soda reacted with the acetic acid in the vinegar making carbon dioxide.

Magic Balloon #3: Diet Coke and Pop Rocks

Fun science experiment for kids. Blow up a balloon without using your own air!! {Playdough to Plato}

Our third bottle was half filled with Diet Coke.  I liked the Diet Coke because it didn’t leave a sticky mess, but any soda would work.  We found that we got a better reaction if we opened a fresh bottle and poured out the soda we didn’t want rather than pouring soda into an empty bottle — I think it stayed better carbonated.

To prep this balloon experiment, we dumped a pack of Pop Rocks into it.  I stretched the balloon over the mouth of the bottle and C dumped them into the Diet Coke.

This one was definitely the noisiest! You could hear all the popping going on in the bottle as the Pop Rocks released their pressurized carbon dioxide.

Magic Balloon #4: Diet Coke and Mentos

Fun science experiment for kids. Blow up a balloon without using your own air!! {Playdough to Plato}

For the last bottle, we filled half of it with Diet Coke again.  We put two Mentos in the balloon, stretched it over the mouth of the bottle, and then dumped them into the Coke.

We actually ended up doing this experiment twice because the first time we didn’t have enough soda in the bottle so it produced a pretty weak reaction.  Half a bottle seemed to work just fine and the Mentos were a great catalyst, causing the Diet Coke release its carbon dioxide.

We lined up our bottles to check out the results.

Magic Balloons Awesome Kids' Science Experiment.jpg

“This one!” he exclaimed, pointing to the yellow balloon of the vinegar and baking soda bottle.  I explained to C that all of these combinations created carbon dioxide.  The carbon dioxide fills the bottle and then moves into the balloon, blowing it up.  Each reaction produces a different amount of carbon dioxide. Which one did he think made the most?

“The one with the yellow balloon,” he said.  “It’s the biggest.”   We tried the experiment a couple times more to see if our results were the same.  We used the same color balloon for each reaction to make it easier to compare past and current results.  The bottle with vinegar and baking soda was the clear winner again.

30 More Inspiring Science Experiments!

Grab 30 easy-to-follow science experiments kids will beg to repeat (plus a no-prep science journal to keep track of their results!) in our shop!

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22 comments.

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Good morning, I love this experiment! I have tried it with the baking soda and vinegar, but I never tried using the other materials. Thanks so much for posting these awesome ideas on your website. I love to have the children experience STEM activities and learn new concepts about Science.

Thank you so much, Mary! We hope your kids love it too! Warmly, Ashley // Happiness Ambassador

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Just found a small misconception that I wanted to note. Yeast, is not a bacteria, it is a eukaryotic microorganism in the kingdom Fungi, so they are related to mushrooms. Bacteria are in a whole separate kingdom and are prokaryotes.

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Science Project Ideas

grade 2 balloon experiments

Balloon Rocket

The balloon rocket is a great science experiment for kids to grasp the concept of force and energy. By involving in this activity, they also garner a lot of fun as it enables them to build their own balloon-powered rockets, something that is no less than an exciting toy.

Balloon Rocket

Balloon Rocket Experiment

On releasing the air contained in a fully blown balloon, it moves forward along a straight string to which it is attached.

  • 1 balloon (long ones work best)
  • About 10-15 ft long kite string
  • 1 plastic straw
  • Tie one end of the string to a door knob, chair or any other support.
  • Pass the other end through the straw.
  • Stretch the string tightly by pulling the free end and tie it to any other support.
  • Move the straw to one end of the string. Blow the balloon up fully.
  • Pinching its opening without tying it, tape it horizontally to the straw ensuring that the opening faces the support that is closest to the balloon.
  • Let go of the pinched end and watch the balloon propel itself forward from one end of the string to another. Can you hear a noise? It is of the blown air escaping out.

Balloon Rocket Experiment

How to Make a Balloon Rocket: Video

Explanation of the balloon rocket lab.

On releasing the nozzle, the air that is stored inside the balloon at a high pressure rushes out in the backward direction with a lot of force because of relatively lower pressure outside. This is the action. Now According to Newton’s 3 rd law of motion, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. As a result, the thrust caused by the backward movement of the air causes the balloon to go in the forward direction. According to Newton’s 2 nd law, the thrust produced is directly proportional to the acceleration produced in the rocket and they occur in the same direction.

The same principle is utilized in rockets. A part of it is filled with fuel. On burning, it gives rise to smoke and gasses that rush out of its rear in the downward direction, causing a thrust on the rocket to gain upward momentum.

According to Newton’s 1 st law of motion, a body continues to be in a state of rest or of motion unless acted upon by some externally impressed force to act otherwise. Note that the only resistance to the motion of the balloon rocket is air resistance and the friction on the string that causes it to stop eventually. In the absence of both these factors, its velocity would never be zero. This helps us to conclude that a balloon rocket can operate in space that is a vacuum. This fact applies to real rockets too that are sent to a planet’s orbit in outer space.

Further Investigation

  • Measure the circumference of the widest part of a small inflated balloon with a tape. After performing the experiment, measure the distance traveled by setting a ruler along the straight string. Repeat with bigger balloons having greater circumferences at their centers. Tabulate the results and plot it on a graph taking the circumference (or radius) along the X-axis. How does it change?
  • Take different shapes of balloons and check how far they go. How does the rocket design affect the distance traveled?
  • Tape the balloon to the string in such a way that its nozzle is not parallel to the string but aligned at a certain angle. Execute the experiment. Does the rocket move as expected?
  • Use other types of material for your line like twine, fishing line or ribbon. How does it affect the distance up to which the balloon rocket travels?

Do let us know of your observations and let us figure out the reasons for it.

Applications of Balloon Rockets

You can make a racer balloon rocket car by applying the above principle of balloon rockets.

Turn it into a fun game by allowing children to race against each other with their homemade balloon rockets. Help them with tips and tricks to make it faster. Even preschoolers can enjoy its working as a toy without having to delve much into the details. It is also an ideal project for demonstration at science fairs.

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Baking Soda and Vinegar Balloon Experiment (Plus Free Worksheet)

It’s like magic!

grade 2 balloon experiments

Kids and balloons go hand-in-hand so why not try a fun science experiment that incorporates a balloon or two? This experiment requires little more than what you already have in your kitchen cabinet. Grab a dash of baking soda, a splash of vinegar, and learn all about acids, bases, states of matter, and chemical reactions! Everyone will be amazed watching a balloon inflate without a single breath being blown.

Fill out the form on this page to grab your free printable recording sheet , and try the baking soda and vinegar balloon experiment with your little scientists!

How does the baking soda and vinegar balloon experiment work?

The baking soda and vinegar balloon experiment demonstrates a chemical reaction between an acid and a base. The baking soda acts as the base and the vinegar as the acid. When the two combine, carbon dioxide (CO2) escapes the container and causes the balloon to blow up.

What does this experiment teach?

This experiment teaches how different states of matter transform when combined. In this case, a solid (baking soda) and a liquid (vinegar) mix to produce a gas (CO2). Since carbon dioxide is the same gas that is released when humans breathe out, students will make the connection between human breath blowing up a balloon and the reaction of this experiment doing the same.

Is there a baking soda and vinegar balloon video?

This video shows how to do the baking soda and vinegar balloon experiment, using just a few ingredients.

Materials Needed

To do the baking soda and vinegar balloon experiment, you will need:

  • Approximately 1/2 cup of vinegar
  • Empty water bottle or similar container
  • Baking soda
  • Measuring spoon
  • Deflated balloon

Our free recording sheet is also helpful— fill out the form on this page to get it.

Baking soda and balloon experiment steps:

1. blow up a balloon just enough to stretch it out a bit. then, use the funnel and measuring spoon to add about a teaspoon of baking soda inside the balloon..

A hand is shown pouring a small cup of baking soda into a blue funnel that is attached to a balloon in this step of the baking soda and vinegar balloon experiment.

2. Fill the water bottle or other container about halfway with vinegar.

A few deflated balloons, a clear container with clear liquid, a small bowl with baking soda, and a funnel are shown on the table in this step of the baking soda and vinegar balloon experiment.

3. Attach your filled balloon to the container with the vinegar. Make sure the seal is tight!

A hand is seen attaching a purple balloon to the top of a clear container with clear liquid in it.

4. Once you’re all set up, hold the balloon up so the baking soda gets released into the vinegar.

A woman is shown holding a purple balloon that is attached to a clear container.

5. Finally, watch the balloon blow up!

A woman with a shocked expression is seen holding an inflated purple balloon that is attached to a clear container.

Grab our baking soda and vinegar balloon experiment worksheet!

Click the button below to get your worksheet. The worksheet asks kids to guess the correct order of the steps in the experiment. Next, kids must make a prediction about what they think will happen. They can use the provided spaces to draw what happens before and after they add the baking soda to the vinegar. Did their predictions come true?

Additional Reflection Questions

  • What happened when the baking soda was added to the vinegar?
  • Why do you think the balloon inflated?
  • Why do you think the balloon eventually stops blowing up?
  • What do you think would happen if we used more or less baking soda?

Can this experiment be done for a science fair?

Yes! If you want to do the baking soda and vinegar balloon experiment for a science fair, we recommend switching up some of the variables. For example: Does the amount of vinegar matter? What if you run two experiments side by side with different amounts of baking soda? Which balloon filled up faster? Form a hypothesis about how changing the variables will impact the experiment. Good luck!

Looking for more experiment ideas? Check out our  big list of science experiments.

Plus, be sure to  subscribe to our newsletters  for more articles like this., you might also like.

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Hands-On Teaching Ideas

Balloon Rocket Science for Kids

Easy science for kids! My kids always get excited when they know that we are doing a science experiment.  “It’s like magic, but better,” they tell me.

Children are naturally curious about the world around them. They want to learn and they often have a lot of questions about things they have seen.

Rocket science is often a topic that comes up when I teach. Many young children are fascinated by rockets and how they work.

Today we talked about how a rocket ship blasts off into space and then I had my kids guess how they thought the rocket was able to do this. 

This balloon rocket science experiment is a great activity for home or school and perfect for outdoor learning.

I have done this balloon rocket experiment with children as young as four and again when I taught grade two as we covered our science program. Even older children will love the experiment, and the learning that goes along with it.

I have done the experiment two different ways. You can use one balloon and have everyone watch together, like a presentation, or give small groups the materials and let them experiment together.

grade 2 balloon experiments

Personally, I always love when I can give children the materials, and the instructions, and they can learn and experiment with their own hands. In my opinion, this is when the best learning takes place.

science for kids

All science experiments should always be done with an adult supervising and involved in the activity. Make sure to do the activity in a safe spot and make children participating are old enough to use the materials.

You don’t need any special or expensive materials to do this experiment. All of the materials are fairly simple and you may already have many at home.

The only suggestion that I would make as far as materials is that large, smoothie type straws work best.

Although you can’t replicate actual rocket science for kids, this experiment does give kids a basic idea of how rockets work.

Plus it is just a really fun, hands-on science for kids experiment that gets kids excited as they learn about the world around them, and science.

science for kids

With this experiment, you will create your own model that works in a similar, but  very basic way compared to a rocket, but done in a way that is easy for kids to understand. 

Even young children will have fun with the experiment. Don’t worry if kids don’t understand the technical science behind it, that’s not the intention.

Experiments, like this, simply give children a basic understanding of rocket science – and hopefully a love of science.

I always enjoy preparing activities in science for kids because it is hands-on and kids love it!

Rocket Science Worksheets

When I do this experiment, I have children follow along and predict what they think is going to happen on worksheets.

This encourages their writing development and adds to their understanding by putting their thoughts into words.

science for kids

The worksheets I created to align with this experiment are available. (Click “The Power of Air” image below).

Without the worksheets, you could simply have children keep track of their predictions and observations and results as they do the experiment.

science for kids

Rocket Science for Kids Steps

First, I blew up a balloon and asked everyone what would happen if I let go of it.  I then let it go!  They loved watching it zip around he room and then fall to the ground. 

We used this idea of movement for our experiment. 

I then tied one end of a piece of string to secure it. Next I slipped the straw through the string and brought the straw to the end.

Then I tied the other end of the string to the other end of the hall. Make sure to tie the string so that the string is tight and straight.

science for kids

If the string is not tight, the balloon will not go as far. 

Next, I blew up a balloon, but did not tie it, and taped it to the straw as I held the end closed. 

The balloon was now filled with gas (air).

Make sure to have the end that you are holding face towards the wall.

science for kids

I had children guess what they thought was going to happen when I let go of the end of the balloon.  After a few guesses, I then let it fly! 

The balloon zoomed across the string! It should go several meters depending on how full you fill the balloon. 

grade 2 balloon experiments

When you let the end go, the escaping air causes a force on the balloon.  All of the air is forced through the small hole on the balloon which causes the balloon itself to react and zoom in the other direction. 

Much like a rocket in blast off!

Science for Kids Extension Activities

Generally after children have seen the balloon zoom across the field or room, they are excited and want to learn more.

This is a great opportunity to try out some of the questions they have and things they are curious about.

Also, if your balloon did not go far, it is a good chance to talk to children about why they think it didn’t go far.

Was there too much air in the balloon? Was the string not tight enough?

science for kids

I suggest trying out the experiment a few times so that you, hopefully, get consistent results.

Let different children hold the string or let the balloon go. They will enjoy being part of the experiment.

Once you have done the experiment a few times, you can try blowing up the balloon more and seeing what happens.  What happens if you only blow it up a bit?

The problem is that if the balloon is bigger, it sometimes spins and does not go as far.  This leads to great discussion as to why and how we could fix this problem. 

When our huge balloon ended up spinning around and not going very far, I asked my students at schoolhow they thought that we could solve the problem.

Their solution was to attach a small weight (a penny) to the bottom to keep the balloon from spinning.  What a great idea!

This activity sparked many discussions and future experiments. Children were really curious what would happen if you attached 2 balloons and what about 3? 

What would happen if you used the huge balloon?  What would happen if you held the string up so that the balloon traveled down as it moved across? 

The things that kids wonder, end up being the best part of teaching science for kids.

Another idea that we tried out when we did this science experiment at home was giving each of my kids a balloon. They choose how full they wanted their balloons and they spent a long time racing them against each other.

My favorite part was the experimenting that happened between each race as they improved their balloon (with coins etc.) and tried different amounts of air in the balloon.

Each time they were simply trying to make their balloon go further and faster, but they were also being little scientists as they experimented, tested and improved on their their ideas.

Since I initially did this experiment at school, we worked though each step together and had follow up sheets.

Below is the “Scientific Method” rocket science booklet that I use with my students.

science for kids

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More science experiments for kids.

Looking for more hands-on science experiments? Check out this collection of over 80 science experiments that you can try out today!

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More Hands-On Teaching Ideas

For more fun, hands-on experiments to do at home, or school, check out the activities below.

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Science Fun

Science Fun

States Of Matter Balloon Science Experiment

In this fun and easy science experiment, we’re going to use a balloon to investigate if a solid plus a liquid can equal a gas? 

  • Baking Soda
  • Clean and dry bottle (Glass or plastic)
  • Small funnel

Instructions:

  • Using the funnel, add two tablespoons of baking soda to the balloon.
  • Now pour four ounces of vinegar into the bottle.
  • Put the balloon over the mouth of the bottle. Two people make this job easier as one can hold the bottle steady while the other puts the balloon onto the bottle.
  • Now lift the balloon and allow the baking soda to fall into the vinegar.
  • Observe the chemical reaction and the effect on the balloon.

EXPLORE AWESOME SCIENCE EXPERIMENT VIDEOS!

How it Works:

When baking soda (solid) and vinegar (liquid) are combined, an endothermic chemical reaction occurs. This chemical reaction creates carbon dioxide (gas). Since the balloon is stretched over the mouth of the bottle, the carbon dioxide gas can not escape. The carbon dioxide gas creates pressure in the bottle and inflates the balloon. 

Make This A Science Project:

Try different amounts of baking soda and vinegar. Try cooling or heating the vinegar to test if the temperature effects the chemical reaction. Try different sized balloons and bottles. 

EXPLORE TONS OF FUN AND EASY SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS!

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Baking Soda and Vinegar Balloon Experiment

Combine a fizzing baking soda and vinegar reaction with balloon play with this easy-to-set-up balloon science experiment for kids . Find out how to blow up a balloon with baking soda and vinegar. Grab a few simple ingredients from the kitchen, and you have amazing chemistry for kids at your fingertips. The science you can play with, too!

grade 2 balloon experiments

BAKING SODA AND VINEGAR BALLOON EXPERIMENT

Don’t have vinegar for this experiment? Try a citric acid like lemon juice, and check out our citric acid and baking soda experiment here.

  • Baking Soda
  • Empty Water Bottles
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Funnel {optional but helpful)

balloon science experiment supplies including baking soda and vinegar

BLOW-UP BALLOON EXPERIMENT SETUP:

 Step 1. Blow up the balloon a bit to stretch it out some, and use the funnel and teaspoon to add baking soda to the balloon. We started with two teaspoons and added a teaspoon for each balloon.

 Step 2. Fill the container with vinegar halfway.

 Step 3. When your balloons are all made up, attach them to the containers making sure you have a good seal!

 Step 4. Next, lift up the balloon to dump the baking soda into the container of vinegar. Watch your balloon blow up!

 To get the most gas out of it, we swirled around the container to get it all going!

using funnel to fill balloon with baking soda for science activity

Optional Art: Go ahead and use a sharpie to draw emojis, shapes, or fun pictures on your balloons before filling them with baking soda.

balloon baking soda science and chemistry for kids

BALLOON EXPERIMENT TIPS

My son suggested we try different amounts of baking soda in our experiment to see what would happen. Also, will the balloon size grow bigger if more vinegar is in the bottle?

Always encourage your kids to ask questions and wonder what will happen if…

This is also a great way to encourage inquiry, observation, and critical thinking skills. You can read more about teaching the scientific method to kids here.

Make predictions! Ask questions! Share observations!

Balloon baking soda science with happy face drawn on pink balloon

Be cautious with the amount of baking soda you add, as the reaction will get bigger each time. Safety goggles are always great for young scientists!

You could see the difference in the baking soda we put in the balloons! The red balloon with the least baking soda inflated the least. The blue balloon with the most inflated the most.

What else can you do with baking soda? Check out these unique baking soda experiments!

HOW DOES THE BALLOON EXPERIMENT WORK?

The science behind this baking soda and vinegar balloon science experiment is a chemical reaction between an acid and base . The base is the baking soda and the acid is vinegar. When the two ingredients mix, the balloon baking soda experiment gets its lift!

That lift is gas, carbon dioxide, or CO2. As the gas tries to leave the plastic container, it goes up into the balloon because of the tight seal you have created. Check out states of matter experiments !

The gas has nowhere to go and is pushing against the balloon it blows it up. Similar to how we exhale carbon dioxide when we blow up balloons ourselves.

We love exploring simple chemistry you can do at home or in the classroom. Science that isn’t too crazy but is still lots of fun for kids! You can check out more cool chemistry experiments .

Read more about the science behind baking soda and vinegar experiments .

WHAT IS THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD FOR KIDS?

The scientific method is a process or method of research. A problem is identified, information about the problem is gathered, a hypothesis or question is formulated from the information, and the hypothesis is tested with an experiment to prove or disprove its validity. Sounds heavy…

What in the world does that mean?!? The scientific method should be used as a guide to help lead the process. It’s not set in stone.

You don’t need to try and solve the world’s biggest science questions! The scientific method is all about studying and learning things right around you.

As kids develop practices that involve creating, gathering data evaluating, analyzing, and communicating, they can apply these critical thinking skills to any situation.

Learn more about the scientific method and how to use it.

Even though the scientific method feels like it is just for big kids…

This method can be used with kids of all ages! Have a casual conversation with younger kiddos or do a more formal notebook entry with older kiddos!

Click here to get your FREE Science Challenge Calendar

grade 2 balloon experiments

MORE SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS WITH BALLOONS

Have leftover balloons? Why not try one of these fun and easy balloon science experiments below!

  • Explore physics with a balloon rocket
  • Try this screaming balloon experiment
  • Make a balloon-powered car
  • Try a pop rocks and soda balloon experiment
  • Learn about static electricity with a balloon and cornstarch experiment
  • Bend water with a balloon.

grade 2 balloon experiments

Helpful Science Resources To Get You Started

Here are a few resources that will help you introduce science more effectively to your kiddos or students and feel confident yourself when presenting materials. You’ll find helpful free printables throughout.

  • Best Science Practices (as it relates to the scientific method)
  • Science Vocabulary
  • 8 Science Books for Kids
  • All About Scientists
  • Free Science Worksheets
  • Science Supplies List
  • Science Tools for Kids
  • Scientific Method for Kids
  • Easy Science Fair Projects
  • Citizen Science Guide
  • Join us in the Club

Printable Science Projects For Kids

If you’re looking to grab all of our printable science projects in one convenient place plus exclusive worksheets and bonuses like a STEAM Project pack, our Science Project Pack is what you need! Over 300+ Pages!

  • 90+ classic science activities  with journal pages, supply lists, set up and process, and science information.  NEW! Activity-specific observation pages!
  • Best science practices posters  and our original science method process folders for extra alternatives!
  • Be a Collector activities pack  introduces kids to the world of making collections through the eyes of a scientist. What will they collect first?
  • Know the Words Science vocabulary pack  includes flashcards, crosswords, and word searches that illuminate keywords in the experiments!
  • My science journal writing prompts  explore what it means to be a scientist!!
  • Bonus STEAM Project Pack:  Art meets science with doable projects!
  • Bonus Quick Grab Packs for Biology, Earth Science, Chemistry, and Physics

grade 2 balloon experiments

42 Comments

Need more info on experiments. Thanks, Miranda

What information would you like?

thanks a lot very funny experiment

Your welcome!

(I was thinking that the pint bottle was going to blow up I got really scared first time I saw a science magic) but I can make smoke come out of my mouth it is very simple

I’m doing a Science Fair Project on this, but I don’t know and how to do the table and graphs, like the data and stuff. Can you help me?

And it’s due May 18, 2016 🙁

this is cool thanks you verry much

Your welcome! Try drawing on the balloons too!

Does the size of the container or size of balloon have any affect on how the balloon will blow up?

Yes, it will because of the space the gas has to fill once the baking soda and vinegar are combined. Great experiment to try different sizes using the same amounts of both vinegar and baking soda.

my team did the balloon inflating thing and it was fun

Is it safe for kids to do this experiment in school

I would think it would be as it is just baking soda and vinegar. You would need to use your best judgement of course. We have never had a balloon explode.

hi this is STEM project . can anyone explain how to connect – T technology E Engineering M mathematics through this experiment . thanks in advance

I will look into my information. Remember a STEM project does not need to contain each of the 4 pillars of STEM but at least two. I can tell you we used math {measuring} and science {chemical reaction}.

Definitely is cool

i love yo stuff

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If we wanted to use this for a science fair project what would the Question asking be?

How much baking soda/vinegar is needed to inflate balloon completely. Or, which acid is better vinegar or lemon juice? Do different shape balloons fill better?

We just did this experiment, but we only used one balloon. My kids are 2.5, 4 and 7 so we have a range of ability levels, but I wanted to add my kids’ favorite part! We took the balloon off the bottle and tied it shut, careful not to lose the gas. And then I blew a balloon up the same size, I asked them which one they thought would hit the ground first as I held them even in the air. Try it out!!

That’s awesome! We will def have to try that. What a great idea!

Where did you find your containers to hold the baking soda and vinegar?

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Home » Articles » STEM » STEM Science » 5 amazing Balloon experiments

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5 amazing Balloon experiments

Everyone loves balloons and today we will show you how to make them even more fun. how with the science of course. we will show you 5 amazing balloon experiments for demonstrating various scientific principles. fun is guaranteed, article contents.

The brief history of the balloons

First balloons, as archeological findings show, were made from animal intestines , especially from pig bladders . Archeological findings also show that first balloon sculptures were used by Aztecs. They were made from cat intestines and were presented as a sacrifice to the gods.

The first rubber balloon was made in the year 1824 by Professor Michael Faraday. He was using them for experiments he was conducting with the hydrogen. He described the balloons as caoutchouc bags that are highly elastic and that they can expand by forcing the air into them until caoutchouc becomes transparent. He also explains how they, when expanded by hydrogen, become so light that they possess considerable ascending power. Faraday made his first balloons by making two sheets of rubber and connecting the edges of those two sheets to each other. Since the rubber was tacky, he had to put flour in the middle so the rubber does not connect. On edges, the rubber would connect automatically due to its stickiness.

Latex rubber balloons were invented and pioneered in the year 1825 by rubber manufacturer Thomas Hancock. Vulcanized balloons were introduced in the year 1847 by J.G. Ingram and they were the first balloons that were not affected by changes in temperature. Vulcanized balloons are regarded as the prototype of the modern-day balloons.

Modern-day balloons are made from different materials but mostly rubber , latex , polychloroprene, and nylon fabric. Also, we can find today’s balloons in many different shapes, sizes, and colors.

Many Kind of Balloons Today

Physics principles of the balloons

We all know that balloons fly. Ok, fall slowly. But did you know there is science behind why is that so? Let’s dive into some physics and explore the principles of why balloons “fly”.

When we inflate the balloon with regular, atmospheric air, the air pressure will become greater than the atmospheric pressure outside of the balloon.

Air pressure actually represents how many particles collide with the surface at any given time. Since there is less space in the balloon, they collide and bounce off the inside surface a lot more than particles from outside do. This happens because of the density . The more particles are in the same space (like in the balloon), the more frequent will they collide with the wall or surface.

To understand why balloons “fly”, it is important to understand how air pressures function. Air pressures outside of the balloon and inside try to even out. The force from the inside of the balloon makes the balloon to expand while the forces from the outside of the balloon make it contract . With this knowledge, we could assume that the balloon with high air pressure would expand until the air pressures are equal inside and outside.

But there is a twist! Balloons posses certain elasticity that plays an important role. Now the air inside needs to have a lot more pressure since it must counteract the elastic membrane of the balloon that tries to return in the original state and the air pressure from the inside. That makes the balloon light and with some gasses like helium even lighter than atmospheric air.

An excellent example of this is the helium balloons. They will raise in the air and as they get higher, the atmospheric pressure gets smaller and smaller. The inside of the balloon exerts more pressure because of that and the balloon will pop from tension. If they don’t pop, helium will leak from pores of the balloon eventually making the balloon to fall down.

Check the video for making all of the activities at the start of the article or continue reading instructions below for each activity if you prefer text description.

1. How to use Science to Blow Up a Balloon

Materials needed for the experiment.

  • Vinegar (2 dl)
  • Baking Soda (2 spoons)
  • Empty Bottle

Experiment Instructions

How to use Science to Blow Up a Balloon

  • Pour 2 dl of vinegar into the empty bottle. 
  • Put Balloon on the funnel and pour 2 spoons of baking soda into it. If you put more, the reaction will be stronger but there is danger of liquid shooting out of the bottle
  • Now put Balloon on the bottle, lift it up, so soda drops into the vinegar. After a few seconds Balloon will be blown.
  • Use yarn to tie down Balloon and you are done!

The science behind the experiment

When we mix vinegar and baking soda we produce an acid-base reaction . The baking soda (base) takes one hydrogen proton from the vinegar (acid). That turns vinegar into a different substance called sodium acetate and baking soda into the carbonic acid. Carbonic acid is unstable and quickly separates into carbon dioxide gas and water. The gas rises up and since it needs more space it expands into the balloon.

2. Burning a Balloon without popping it

Materials needed for burning the balloon, instructions for burning the balloon experiment.

Burning a Balloon without popping it

  • Put the balloon onto the faucet and let it fill with water ( around 2 dL). Blow up the balloon and tie it down. You can also first blow up the balloon then put it on the bottle with water and just fill it.
  • Light the candle and bring Balloon over it. The balloon won’t pop! If you try it with an empty balloon it will pop instantly.

The science behind the Burning the Balloon experiment

One of the amazing properties of the water is the ability to soak up the heat . The flame causes water to heat up. That heated water goes up and pushes cooler layer down so it’s heated again. That process happens rapidly and it prevents heat from popping up the balloon. That lasts as long as we don’t heat up all the water, so after some time Balloon will pop. One good real-life example of this is sweating ! When our body is heated, we start to sweat. That is a defensive reaction of our organism, putting a layer of water on us and preventing overheating.

3. Pinning a Balloon

Materials needed for the experiment, instructions for the experiment.

Pinning a Balloon

  • Blow up the balloon and tie it down.
  • If you try putting it on one pin it will pop. Put many pins on the surface (sharp part up) and then try to put Balloon on top of it. It won’t pop!

This is a great experiment to demonstrate one of the findings of Classical Mechanics – distributed pressure . When we put the balloon on one pin, the pressure is concentrated on one spot and it’s easy to break a thin layer of the balloon. However, if we distribute that pressure over the many points on the balloon, the force of any of them is too small to burst the balloon.

4. Balloon on the Stick

Materials needed for the balloon on the stick.

  • Wooden Skewer
  • Dishwashing liquid

Instructions for the balloon on the stick experiment

Balloon on the Stick

  • Blow up the Balloon (not fully)  and tie it down.
  • Look at the Balloon and identify areas where it’s darker (rubber is thicker). One spot is right where you tie down the Balloon and the other is on the opposite side.
  • Coat the wooden skewer with dishwashing liquid ( you can also use vaseline) so it feels smooth.
  • Pierce the Balloon on one of the spots we previously identified and push it in. Let it come out on the other spot, on the opposite end. You now have Balloon on the stick!

The science behind the balloon on the stick experiment

A balloon is made of rubber, and that rubber consists of a long chain of polymers . Blowing up the balloon stretches these polymer chains. However, there are areas on the balloon where they are stretched more (under greater surface tension ) and where they are stretched less (under less surface tension). We identified these points of less tension, so we can pierce the Balloon on those points. Making small holes on those spots don’t produce enough surface tension for the balloon to burst.

5. Demonstrating Centripetal force

Materials needed for demonstration, instructions for demonstrating centripetal force.

Demonstrating Centripetal force

  • Insert the coin inside the Balloon. Try to push it as far as you can, but it doesn’t have to go all the way in.
  • Shake the Balloon in a circular motion. You will see the coin spinning.
  • Stop the motion and the coin will continue its movement for some time.

Warning: this activity is addictive! 😄

The science behind the centripetal force experiment

To move anything, including our coin, we need to input some energy. In this case, our original circular shaking of the balloon supplied needed kinetic energy . The round shape of the balloon forces our coin to move in a circular way, otherwise, it would continue moving forward . There is not that much friction between the coin and the surface of the balloon, so the coin moves for a long time after we stop the motion. But, in time, friction and gravity force out the coin to halt.

Important force here is Centripetal force . This is a center-seeking force that acts on our coin and constantly changes its velocity so it remains in the circular motion. The natural state of all objects is to continue forward motion, but if we apply enough force we can change that. Examples of this ere moons and satellites orbiting planets.

Here gravity acts as a centripetal force. In our coin example, it works because of the friction between our coin and the surface of the balloon. That makes our coin move in a circular path and not just randomly jumping inside of a balloon.

We hope you enjoyed these fun balloon activities. And if you’re searching for more fun STEM experiments that kids will love, you can demonstrate osmosis using gummy bears . Or if you want to see how to raise the water using a candle, check out the candle in the vacuum experiment . And some other similar experiments we would like to recommend are demonstrating light bending and making a dancing grain experiment . And if you still have some balloons that you would like to use, be sure to check how to demonstrate air pressure with balloon activity and how to make an anti-stress ball using the balloon and flour . Happy learning!

If you’re searching for some great STEM Activities for Kids and Child development tips, you’re in the right place! Check the Categories below to find the right activity for you.

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Videos, guides and explanations about STEM Science in a step-by-step way with materials you probably already have at your home. Find new Science ideas.

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Easy Balloon Powered Car

April 21, 2020 By Emma Vanstone 1 Comment

I’ll be honest and say balloon powered cars can be very frustrating to make, but I have some top tips to help!

If you don’t have everything you need you can also make a LEGO balloon powered car , just make sure it’s as light as possible. The weight of the car is the most important factor. It needs to be VERY light.

Materials needed for a balloon powered car science activity or STEM challenge

Balloon Car Top Tips

  • Make the car as light as you can. You can see that I’ve cut out some of the cardboard on the sides to reduce the weight of mine.
  • The end of the straw you blow down should sit just over the edge of the car.
  • The balloon should also rest on the car ( not the floor ) when blown up.

What you need to build a balloon powered car

Thin cardboard

4 plastic lids

Elastic band

Instructions

Carefully attach each skewer to one plastic lid to make a wheel and axle. Our lids were soft enough to pierce the plastic easily, but if not you’ll need to glue them in place.

Thick cardboard wheels will also work.

Cut one straw in half and place each half over the skewer, before fixing the second wheel in place

Balloon car base with wheels and an axel

Cut the cardboard, so it fits over the axles as the body of the car.

Attach the cardboard to the straws with tape.

Turn the car over and check the wheels move freely.

Attach the balloon to one end of the second straw and fix in place with an elastic band.

Attach the straw and balloon to the top of the car with more tape.

Place the car on a smooth surface, blow up the balloon by blowing down the straw and let go.

The balloon powered car should roll along the floor until all the air has been released from the balloon.

Balloon car - Tray a Day - easy science experiment for kids

Why does a balloon powered car work?

Our balloon powered car is also a great example of  Newton’s Third Law of Motion .

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction

Air is forced out of the end of the balloon, which means there must be an equal and opposite reaction pushing the car forward!

You can also see this in action ( more explosively ) with a  bottle rock et .

Extension Activities

Try adding more weight to the car, it should slow down! How many passengers can it carry and still move?

Try the car on a rougher surface like carpet. Does it still move as easily? You should find the car moves less well over a rough surface as there is more friction between the car and the floor.

Make a LEGO balloon car – remember to keep it as light as possible.

Try adding extra balloons to supercharge the car , do they make it travel faster?

Troubleshooting

If the car doesn’t move, first check the wheels can move freely, then make sure the balloon is sat on the car when inflated not the floor.

If all else fails make the car as light as possible!

Science concepts

Newtons Third Law

Image of a labelled balloon car for a science activity or STEM challenge for kids

Last Updated on January 12, 2023 by Emma Vanstone

Safety Notice

Science Sparks ( Wild Sparks Enterprises Ltd ) are not liable for the actions of activity of any person who uses the information in this resource or in any of the suggested further resources. Science Sparks assume no liability with regard to injuries or damage to property that may occur as a result of using the information and carrying out the practical activities contained in this resource or in any of the suggested further resources.

These activities are designed to be carried out by children working with a parent, guardian or other appropriate adult. The adult involved is fully responsible for ensuring that the activities are carried out safely.

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May 24, 2022 at 6:40 pm

Great! Worked for me in a competition in my class!

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A Dab of Glue Will Do

Little Learners, Big Ideas

PS PK K 1 2

Self-Inflating Balloon Science Experiment

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In the self-inflating balloon science experiment, kids will learn which chemical reaction is the best at inflating balloons. Classroom-friendly!

Science is all about testing, re-testing, searching, exploring, and playing. I’m almost convinced most scientists are kids who never quite grew up! Try this  Self-Inflating Balloon Science Experiment with your kids today!

Watch balloons self inflate during this experiment

Children have a natural instinct to experiment and test, which is why science activities are so much fun with little ones! In the self-inflating balloon science experiment, children can test which chemical reaction produces the reaction that is best at inflating a balloon. What is even better about this experiment is that the science experiment is inexpensive and classroom-friendly. Little ones will have a blast testing all sorts of reactions beyond the three we tested in our example.

Getting the Self-Inflating Balloon Science Experiment Ready

In the self-inflating balloon science experiment, kids will learn which chemical reaction is the best at inflating balloons. Classroom-friendly!

Setting this experiment up is super easy, and it takes very little advanced prep. You will need:

  • Balloons (1 for each reaction)
  • Plastic bottles (1 for each reaction)
  • Plastic bottles

All you have to do in advance is collect the materials and write the type of reaction on each balloon with a permanent marker.

In the self-inflating balloon science experiment, kids will learn which chemical reaction is the best at inflating balloons. Classroom-friendly!

Doing the Self-Inflating Balloon Science Experiment

Heat some water on the stove or in a microwave . If you don’t have access to something to heat water in the classroom, you can always switch out the hot water for yeast and sugar.

In the self-inflating balloon science experiment, kids will learn which chemical reaction is the best at inflating balloons. Classroom-friendly!

Fill one bottle with 5 tablespoons of hot water . Add the “water” balloon to the top.

Fill another bottle with 5 tablespoons of hot water. Drop in an alka-seltzer tablet and cover with the “alka-seltzer” balloon.

In the self-inflating balloon science experiment, kids will learn which chemical reaction is the best at inflating balloons. Classroom-friendly!

Add 5 tablespoons of vinegar to the third bottle. Drop in two tablespoons of baking soda and quickly add the “baking soda” balloon.

Stand back and watch.

In the self-inflating balloon science experiment, kids will learn which chemical reaction is the best at inflating balloons. Classroom-friendly!

In our experiment, the water balloon didn’t inflate much at all. The hot air was not pressurized enough to inflate the balloon. The alka-seltzer tablet filled the balloon a little, but the baking soda and vinegar balloon had the best reaction. We thought the balloon was going to pop off the bottle!

The Science Behind the Self-Inflating Balloon Experiment

In the self-inflating balloon science experiment, kids will learn which chemical reaction is the best at inflating balloons. Classroom-friendly!

Alka-seltzer tablets and baking soda and vinegar both produce the same CO2 reaction. When an acid is mixed with a base, the two mixtures react through an endothermic reaction (a reaction that makes the mixture feel colder), creating CO2 gas which bubbles up through the liquid and out into the air, which inflates the balloon. The heat rising from the hot water was not strong enough to inflate our balloon. However, hotter water or perhaps more water in the bottle might have done the trick.

More Science Activities and Ideas

Walking Water Science for Kids

Science Notebook

Plants Unit

Want science planned for you ALL YEAR LONG?!

Do you want  science planned  for the  ENTIRE CALENDAR YEAR !? This  Endless Science Mega Bundle  will  save you so much time  and  keep your students engaged  and  excited about learning . This amazing resource contains  53 science topics  including  life science ,  physical science ,  earth science , and  animal studies .

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An ornament to make with salt crystals

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Go Science Girls

Balloon Balance Experiment (Air has Weight)

  • May 31, 2021
  • 7-9 Year Olds , Physics

Have you ever think of the weight of air around us?

Generally, we feel air doesn’t have any weight since it is not visible and just felt.

Are you wondering about, ‘Does air has mass?’!!

If you are interested, we can clear your curiosity about ‘air weight’ through this scientific experiment, i.e., ‘Balloon Balance Experiment.’ Here we go!

Balloon Balance Experiment

Hypothesis:  We will prove that air has weight / mass by building a balance scale and performing an air weight experiment.

Balloon Balance Air Weight Science Experiment

Materials Required

Check out the concise list of supplies…

  • Two Balloons
  • A piece of string
  • Ruler / long stick (Wooden or steel)
  • Any sharp object like needle or pin
  • Scotch Tape

Materials Required

Building a Balloon Balance

Step-1:  Build a balance using a ruler and strings! Take a ruler of your chosen material and give it a knot using a piece of string but precisely in the center. Make sure the string is strong enough to hold and balance the ruler scale in place.

Mark Points for balancing scale

Step-2:  Now, bring the balance over your work table and attach the other free end of the string to support on the top. If you have a readymade balance available readily at home, then you can also use it.

Tie threads to balloon weighing scale

Step-3:  Then, pick the two balloons and blow them up. But you need to blow the two balloons in equal size.

Tie Thread In The Middle Part Of PVC Pipe

S tep-4:  After checking, give the balloons a knot at the mouth of them using an equal length piece of string.

Step-5:  It is time to fix the balloons on either side ends of the ruler, leaving 3-4 inches of space from the end of the scale. Fix the balloons to the ruler using the other free end of the string attached to the balloon.

Balloon Balance Air Weight Experiment

As we are taking equal length strings to both the balloons to secure them, we must mostly observe the balloons at the same height even after tying them to the ruler. Finally, you need to check whether the balloons are at equal height from the ruler.

Balloon Balance Air Weight Science Experiment

Step-6:  At this stage, leave the balance attached with equal-sized and inflated balloons freely. That means let the balance adjust itself, and then you check, both the balloons remain at the same height as the ruler.

It shows that air inside both the balloons has equal mass and remains at the same height when left on balance freely.

Step-7:  In step-7, we are going to prove that air has mass! To prove this, pick any sharp object and poke any of the two balloons.

Immediately, you can observe the balance goes down on the side where there is an inflated balloon and the side consisting of deflated balloon goes up.

Just like a see-saw, you can observe the actions of balance when you deflate one of the balloons using a sharp object.

Balloon Balance Air Weight Science Project

You can alter the experiment with varying mass of balloons to check the results.

How To Make Balloon Balancing

Balloon Balance Experiment – Scientific Explanation

According to scientists, air is a type of matter that has mass and occupies space.

Does Air Have Weight?

Let us prove with our experiment that air has mass and takes up space. In the balloon balance experiment, we are blowing up balloons. When blow-up balloons, the air is entering inside them and making the balloons expand. So, this shows that the air occupies space which eventually proves that it has weight.

And when we tie the balloons to the scale with measurements and deflate one of them, the balance tilts i.e., the side attached to the inflated balloon will be on the lower side, and the side with deflated one goes upwards.

The deflated balloon loses its weight. And because of weight, the inflated balloon goes down, and the deflated one goes up on the scale. Using this, we can prove that air takes up space and has mass.

Air weights due to what?

When we blow up the balloon, the air inside the balloon is under high pressure. Because the amount of air inside the balloon is compressed within a certain amount of space available inside the balloon.

So when we blast it using a sharp object, the balloon’s skin moves away from the blast’s point, allowing the air to come outside. The compressed air comes out of the balloon when it blasts because it weighs more than the surrounding air weight. This shows that air has weight.

How much does a deflated balloon weigh?

A deflated balloon exhibits the weight of the (deflated) balloon and not the air.

Air has no weight when it is free to move from one place to another, but it contains weight when it is filled inside any container because the air inside a container compresses by the walls of balloons, which gives weight to the air inside the balloon.

Extension Ideas to the Balloon Balance Experiment

1) Try out many inflated balloons tied to the ruler scale on either side and perform the same experiment. Check whether there are the same final results or not! 

2) Replace the deflated balloon with another inflated balloon and check what exactly happens.

3) Take many inflated balloons and tie them to the string side by side on either side of the scale. And check the results by blasting the balloons on one side at a time and one by one.

4) Try different-sized balloons and check what happens after the experiment.

Who discovered air has weight?

Galileo , a great scientist who discovered that ‘Air has Mass,’ but he could not prove his statements through scientific reasons adequately. And hence his remarkable discovery on-air weight became colder surrounding with a lot of controversies.

Later, Torricelli put his efforts on the same concept and surmised that air is less dense and exhibits less pressure on the hilly areas. But he just only explained the theory instead of proving it scientifically.

And finally, the scientist Blaise Pascal proved that air weights with proper explanations.

Does compressed air weigh anything?

As we already learned that compressed air exhibits weight more than the surrounding air moving freely outside through Balloon Balance Air has Weight Experiment. Let us see how much weight it reveals.

Compressed air weighs more than atmospheric air, and hence a certain amount of compressed air weighs more than the same amount of regular air. I.e., The weight of one cubic foot of air is 0.0807 pounds at 14.7 psi. If we compress the compressed air to 1000 psi, then the air weight per cubic foot is beyond 5 pounds. In this way, compressed air weight is calculated based on the pressure it is experiencing.

Check out other air pressure experiments:

Egg in a Bottle Experiment

Drip Drop Water Bottle

Crushing Can Experiment

FAQ’S

A:  We can prove that air has mass by performing a simple science experiment, i.e., the ‘Balloon Balance Science Experiment’. Take a simple balance machine and tie equal-sized inflate balloons on either side of its lever. You will observe both the balloons hang at the same height from the ground. Now, blast any one of the inflated balloons and observe that the lever on the deflated balloon side tilts and moves upwards. While the inflated balloon still goes down because it has air which reveals mass. In this way, we can prove that air has weight.

A:  When a balloon is filled with air, it expands because air has mass and occupies space. But a deflated balloon displaces its air into the surrounding air because it is compressed air with more weight than the regular air outside. So, it immediately displaces air outside when blasted and occupies no space. A deflated balloon doesn’t even hold any weight as there is no mass inside it.

A:  One can find a balloon’s mass in two ways: One is an empty balloon weight without air, and the other is balloon mass with air. You need to pick a balloon for the first category and place it on the simple balance. You will see some reading changes on the lever. According to the readings, you can decide on an empty balloon’s weight that does not have air in it. And for the second category, you need to use ideal gas laws to find out the balloon’s mass that has air in it. I.e. PV= nRT

A:  Yes, all types of gases consist of a certain amount of mass depending upon its amount present in a particular substance or container. Gases are invisible to the human eye, but we feel them through our skin because of the pressure they exhibit. But the gas particles stay intact by having large space in between them, unlike solids and liquids.

A:  Matter is anything that takes up space and has weight. We can prove air is a matter using a balloon. So, pick a balloon and note down its weight using a simple balance before we fill in air into it. Now, blow the balloon using your mouth or a blower machine. Now the empty balloon expands and becomes large with a certain shape. It shows that it has air inside, occupying space, and expands the balloon to a certain size. Then, weigh the inflated balloon. You will see the inflated balloon weighs more than the empty one. From these two observations, we get to know that air takes up space and has weight. So, anything which has weight and occupies space is a matter, and hence the air is a matter.

A:  Yes! Air takes up space because it is made of loosely packed air particles that have volume as well. Since it is a matter, it occupies space in the atmosphere. That is the reason living things can breathe in and out.

A:  Sunlight is a combination of various rays, i.e., ultraviolet rays, visible rays, and infrared rays. And these rays emit radiation encompassed photon particles, which are tiny in size and move in space with high speed. As these particles do not have any weight or mass, they are not able to occupy space. When there is no scope for mass and taking up space by any object, then the object is not a matter. Since the sunlight is not made of matter, it does not fall under any state of matter.

A:  Yes, water vapor occupies space during the process of turning the liquids into vapors. When liquids turn into vapor, there happens the expansion of liquid substance. It is due to the breakage of bonds that keep water molecules intact and results in steam formation. Such steam vapors act as gases and occupy more space than regular ones.

A:  Light is nothing but an electromagnetic ray with a certain wavelength. It does take up space like protons and electrons.

A:  Basically, the matter is of three different states, i.e., solid-state, liquid state, and gaseous state. All these three types of matter are different in their characteristic properties. And the particles that make these three matters are different and arrange themselves differently. If something refers to a matter, then it must exist in either of these three states. In our everyday life, the state of matter plays a significant role and has a very distinct form.

Angela

One comment

Great explanation! Even better than the 3rd grade science teacher.

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  1. 20 Balloon Experiments for the Science Classroom

    Steve Spangler Science. 3. Skewer a balloon without popping it. If you do this one right, you'll make kids' eyes pop—but not the balloon! They'll learn about the polymers that make balloons possible, and even a little bit about how to stay cool under pressure. Learn more: Balloon Skewer. The Craft Train. 4.

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    Pop a balloon with an orange peel! Simple Science Experiment! Watch on. By carefully peeling an orange and using the peel to pop a balloon, students will explore the intriguing world of chemical reactions and pressure. 2. The Magnifying Glass Balloon Pop Experiment. Mystery Balloon Pop - Sick Science! #190.

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    Step 3: Add "flames" and fins to the balloon rocket. Cut pieces of red and orange tissue paper to be about 6 inches long and 2 to 3 inches wide. Then cut strips about 3/8 inch wide down one side, creating a fringe. Cut a rectangle from cardstock about 8.5 inches long and 3.5 inches wide. Fold the paper in half.

  6. Balloon Rocket Race a Super Simple Science Experiment

    Cut 3 triangles to use as the fins on the back of the balloon rocket. You want to have one of the corners a 90 degree angle (approximately). Tip: we made this easy by taking a square and cutting the corners off diagonally. Next you want to tape 3 of these onto one end of a each straw to make it look like a rocket.

  7. Build a Two-Stage Balloon Rocket

    Thread the fishing line through the two straws. Tie the ends of the fishing line to two sturdy pieces of furniture and make sure it is pulled tight. The longer you can make the line, the better. Cut a small ring (less than one inch long) from the cardboard tube. Stretch the balloons to loosen them before inflating.

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    This physics experiment for kids is fun for preschoolers, kindergartners, grade 1, grade 2, and grade 3 students. Balloon Rocket Experiment. All you need for this simple physics activity for young children is a few simple materials you probably already have laying around your house: 2 or more balloons; string; 2 or more straws (extra large work ...

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    Inflate one balloon about 1/2 to 3/4 full. Do not inflate the balloon so much that it starts to bend significantly. Use a binder clip to pinch the balloon's nozzle shut so it doesn't deflate. Pull just the balloon's nozzle through the cardboard ring, keeping it clipped shut. Thread another balloon partially through the cardboard ring.

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    Step 2 - Using a funnel, pour about a third of a cup of vinegar into the bottle. We used Apple Cider Vinegar, but any type of vinegar will work. Step 3 - Then insert another funnel into the mouth of the balloon. We recommend using two different funnels. One funnel for filling the bottle with vinegar and one for the balloon.

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    Magic Balloon #1: Warm Water and Yeast. In our first bottle, we poured in about an inch of warm water and then dumped in the entire packet of yeast. We swirled the yeast around a bit and then added the teaspoon of sugar and gave it another good swirl. We put the balloon over the mouth of the bottle and then let it sit in the sun.

  12. Balloon Rocket Experiment

    Move the straw to one end of the string. Blow the balloon up fully. Pinching its opening without tying it, tape it horizontally to the straw ensuring that the opening faces the support that is closest to the balloon. Let go of the pinched end and watch the balloon propel itself forward from one end of the string to another.

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    Balloons. Tape. Straw. String. The only suggestion that I would make as far as materials is that large, smoothie type straws work best. Although you can't replicate actual rocket science for kids, this experiment does give kids a basic idea of how rockets work. Plus it is just a really fun, hands-on science for kids experiment that gets kids ...

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    We started with two teaspoons and added a teaspoon for each balloon. Step 2. Fill the container with vinegar halfway. Step 3. When your balloons are all made up, attach them to the containers making sure you have a good seal! Step 4. Next, lift up the balloon to dump the baking soda into the container of vinegar. Watch your balloon blow up!

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    Attach the cardboard to the straws with tape. Turn the car over and check the wheels move freely. Attach the balloon to one end of the second straw and fix in place with an elastic band. Attach the straw and balloon to the top of the car with more tape. Place the car on a smooth surface, blow up the balloon by blowing down the straw and let go.

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    Drop in an alka-seltzer tablet and cover with the "alka-seltzer" balloon. Add 5 tablespoons of vinegar to the third bottle. Drop in two tablespoons of baking soda and quickly add the "baking soda" balloon. Stand back and watch. In our experiment, the water balloon didn't inflate much at all. The hot air was not pressurized enough to ...

  22. Balloon Balance Experiment (Air has Weight)

    The weight of one cubic foot of air is 0.0807 pounds at 14.7 psi. If we compress the compressed air to 1000 psi, then the air weight per cubic foot is beyond 5 pounds. In this way, compressed air weight is calculated based on the pressure it is experiencing. Check out other air pressure experiments: Egg in a Bottle Experiment.

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    Hang the balloon—and a short section of the straw—in the bottle's neck, and use clay or the bottle cap to hold it in place. Make sure the clay or cap make an airtight seal around the straw and the bottle neck. No change is needed to the second balloon that closes off the bottom of the bottle.