John Wooden once said, ‘It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.’ Balloons seem like such a little thing, usually reserved for parties, but at Avasara we use balloons quite often in Science, for example in making a hovercraft, collecting carbon dioxide, and investigating laws of motion. Recently in Science we used balloon rockets to help students learn about speed. Girls made balloon rockets by inflating a balloon and attaching it to a straw. A length of yarn is then threaded through the straw, and the balloon is released.
Girls were set the task of making balloon rockets, and calculating the speeds of single-balloon and double-balloon rockets, after making hypotheses about what would happen.
What would happen to the velocity of the balloon rocket if we double the number of balloons?
To our surprise, the speed of the double-balloon rocket was slower (perhaps because it was too heavy for the string). Overall, girls say that this helped them to understand learning new concepts like speed, displacement and velocity with this balloon rocket activity, and they had fun in the process, too!