Sunday, February 8, 2009

Unplugged Challenge: Float

Warmer, more Florida like, weather returned on Saturday, and I was able to uncover the plants in the garden for the first time in three days. It was a really beautiful, cloudless day and the perfect time to try the project that I had planned for this week's unplugged challenge. The theme for this week was "float".

Blaze had chosen The Magic School Bus Inside a Hurricane as his bedtime story twice this week, so we had been talking about how hot air rises and cold air sinks.


We have also been talking a lot about color recently, so Saturday, I explained about how the color black absorbs heat from sunlight, while white reflects it. Then I got out a solar balloon that I had purchased at the Natural History Museum gift shop.


The balloon is made of thin black plastic, similar to the kind used to make cheap trash bags. It was open on both ends, so after we unfolded it, we had to tie off one of the ends to hold the air in.



Then, holding the other end open, Blaze ran to fill the balloon with air.


The open end was then tied shut with the nylon string that came with the balloon, trapping the air inside.

Almost as soon as we had it tied closed it began to rise off the ground.

It really was a lot of fun and when we were finished I was able to deflate it, so that we can easily store it until we want to play with it another day.




naomi said...

Wow that's looks so fun! Very energetic. Wish we had your sunshine...

Joannof10 said...

That is super! We will definitely do this in the summer, or at least when the temps get above 20 degrees.

Erica said...

Oh, now that is so neat!! Something we will certainly try in the future :)

Anonymous said...

I have never seen such a balloon. That looks really fun. I am sure that Blaze really understands the "hot air rises" lesson now. Great idea!

Yelli said...

Cool balloon lesson and great weather! I need some of that sun here!

Schelle said...

I'll be watching out for something like that - I wonder if it would work with a plain black balloon? Thanks for the idea!

Clare said...

I've just been googling ways to make one of those thanks to this post! Looks like great fun and is now on my list of things to do this summer :-)

Crafty Crow