Let’s Make a Balloon Powered Car!
Making a balloon powered car is a fun craft project and also an educational science experiment that can be done at home. So let us begin and make this homestay fun and productive.
- Cardboard/Construction Sheets
- Bottle caps (optional)
- Cello Tape
What to do next?
You can follow these simple six steps to make your own balloon powered car.
Take a sheet of construction paper. Cut a rectangle shape to make the body of your car (You can freely cut the size you want)
Cut two peices of straws in similar size. then, attach the straws to the body of your car using cello tapes as in the above picture.
Insert the sticks into each straw.
You can take 4 bottle caps or cut these sheets in four circles to use as wheels. Attach all four wheels on the stick as shown in the figure and secure the wheels with the tape if needed.
Now attach the balloon at one end of the straw.
Tape the balloon in the car. Your balloon powered car is ready!
How to use the car?
Blow some air into the balloon through the straw. Pinch the straw shut so that the air doesn’t escape. Place the car on a smooth, flat surface. Let go of the straw and watch the car GO!
- The straw is the back of the car. The balloon is the front.
- If the balloon is not holding air, there may be a gap. Wrap some more tape around the end of the balloon.
- If the balloon still is not holding any air, it might have a hole in it. Get a new balloon.
NOW TIME FOR SOME SCIENCE
The science behind this is Newton’s Third Law of Motion. In the case of the Balloon-Powered Car, the air escaping from the straw pushes the air behind the car. Then the air behind the car pushes the air towards the car with the same force resulting in the movement of the car.
The balloon itself has a potential energy of expanding as it is made of elastic material. As the balloon gets filled with air, the amount of potential energy stored is increased (Potential energy of elastic balloon + Potential energy of stored air). When the air starts running out from the balloon, the stored energy is changed to kinetic energy (energy of motion).
Thus, this activity teachs kids:
- How wind energy can be used to propel an object
- Principles in physics like momentum, force, friction, and speed.
- It’s also a great lesson in recycling and how to re-purpose waste items into fun toys.
You can also watch this video to make a balloon powered car.