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Balloon Zip-Line Experiment

THE QUICK ESCAPE! Using air to generate movement


With this STEAM learning project, learn how to create movement using balloons and air pressure. For this summer survival heroes and villains experiment, imagine the superhero needs a quick getaway! You could even attach a small Lego figurine to the straw to stimulate imagination through play on this one!


When we conducted this experiment, we actually had some trial and error happen, which makes for a true experiment! Remember, you can learn and have fun even when it is "not working", as you'll see in our videos below!

Materials

Step 1:

Run the string through a piece of the straw that has been cut about to about 2" long. The length of your string will depend on the distance between the two secure points.


Step 2:

Attach the string between your two secure points. Make sure that the string is very tight. You can test this out with varying distances to see which one performs the best.


Step 3:

Blow up your balloon and pinch the opening then tape it to the straw (not the string). Once it is securely taped on, let go of the pinched end and watch the balloon take flight!



Step 4:

Write down your results. Which length was the most successful? Which string type worked the best. What happens if you blow the balloon up half way? And finally, make sure to have fun!


Our First Attempt

We used twine as our zip-line material, and we quickly learned that there was too much friction and not enough space in the straw to move the balloon.


Second Attempt

Based on our analysis from the first attempt, we decided that if we changed the zip-line material it should work. We used thread for round two and it worked! So well in fact that we had to capture it in slow motion so you could see it go!





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