Build a Balloon Powered Car
Ever thought of turning a stack of waste into a car? The activity of making a balloon powered car for kids makes you learn various concepts in physics. Plus, it teaches the kids how the recycled material can help make a balloon powered car toy.
The balloon powered car for kids is made with a machine that consists of an axle and a wheel. These cars have been invented for a long time and are taken for granted, though we use wheeled cars. The critical part is to get your axle and wheel to spin more easily than the balloon’s role in the car. It is one of the most exciting science experiments for kids at home to learn.
Scientific Concepts Behind Balloon Powered Car
There are many concepts of science and engineering used to make a balloon car. When a balloon is inflated, the rubber stretches and stores air inside, which showcases the potential energy. When the balloon is released, then the potential energy is changed into kinetic energy. Further, when the balloon moves around the room, the energy is transformed into the motion’s energy. There is friction when the balloon zooms out, and then some of its energy changes into friction energy. While making a balloon powered car for kids, the conservation law of energy is applied. This law states that the total energy during this process is conserved because energy never ‘disappears’; it changes its form.
Another balloon powered car explanation is the third law of Newton- the motion’s law. The law simply states that every action happens with equal magnitude and in different directions. Thus, when a person inflates the balloon and releases the nozzle, the air in the nozzle pushes out. It explains that action happens with equal magnitude and in different directions because air pushes itself back in the rubber, making the balloon propel forward. This physics’ concept applies in real-life with jets and rockets that shoot the high-speed gases out of the engine’s back, driving the vehicle to move forward. The best balloon powered car uses this principle, where the car moves in a forward direction with the air escaping the balloon as it keeps on deflating.
- Plastic bottle- 1
- Plastic caps of bottles – 4
- Wooden skewer
- Straws- 2
- Sharp knife or scissors (use under adult supervision)
- Out of the two straws, cut one in half.
- On one side of the water bottle, attach both pieces of straw with tape that you’ve cut.
- To form an axle, cut into half the wooden skewer. Now push skewers in each piece on the straws.
- With the help of an adult, poke a ‘+’ shape hole in the center of plastic bottle caps directly.
- Now at the end of wooden skewers, press caps of the bottle. This will help you form a wheel.
- Now put the car on a plain surface and push it forward. Ensure that the car easily rolls before making a stop. In case your balloon powered cars for kids are not moving smoothly, ensure the axles are positioned parallel to each other, the straws taped on the bottle properly, and the hole of each cap is centered. You can use glue if the tape does not stick properly.
- Now tape the straw’s end at the balloon’s neck. Ensure the tape is wrapped tightly for an airtight connection.
- Further, cut a tiny hole at the water bottle’s top, just as the straw’s size.
- You can push the other closure of straw towards the top around the bottle’s mouth through the hole.
- Now use tape to attach the straw to the bottle.
- It’s time to blow the balloon through a straw. It will puff up the balloon and cover the balloon’s top rubber with fingers to hold the air.
- Put a car on a plain surface and remove the finger. Make the adjustments as per the surface.
There are many ways to build a balloon powered car for kids. For instance, you can create a car with a balloon powered car cardboard instead of a plastic bottle.
Usually, when you puff up the balloon and leave it then, it zips around the whole room. Moreover, balloons are taped to straw and attached to the balloon powered car for kids, then the direction in which air is escaping from the balloon is controlled. Thus, when you aim the straw’s end backwards, the car’s air pushes it forward, as stated in Newton’s Law of Motion. The design for the balloon-powered car for kids would be more efficient when your straw is aimed straight backwards and not on the side or downwards. You can store a lot of potential energy in the balloon by inflating it more. Thus, as per the conservation law of energy, this potential energy will be converted into kinetic energy— making the car move faster.
Indulging in science experiments for kids at home can be a really good experience for parents as well.