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Hot-Air Balloon Design Teacher Sheet

Hot-Air Balloon Design Teacher Sheet

Question
How can a hot-air balloon be designed to safely transport people or animals?

Hypothesis
When air is heated inside of a balloon, the balloon will rise.

Procedure
An example might include:

  1. At the bottom of the opening of the trash bag, a team member makes a small hole and ties a long piece of string.
  2. Another team member attaches a small toy soldier to the long piece of string.
  3. Plug in a hair dryer.
  4. Have someone hold the bag open while another team member uses the hair dryer to fill the trash bag with hot air. The hair dryer has to be kept a safe distance from the plastic bag to avoid it from overheating or melting.
  5. As soon as the bag is filled with hot air, another team member quickly closes the bag with a zip tie above the hole with the string.
  6. At a designated starting line, one team member releases the hot air balloon.
  7. A team member times how long it stays in the air.
  8. Another team member measures the distance that the balloon travels using a meter stick.
  9. The experiment is repeated three times.

Materials

  • 1 20-gallon lightweight trash bag
  • 1 zip tie
  • 1 hair dryer
  • String
  • 1 toy soldier
  • 1 stopwatch
  • 1 meter stick

 

Data
Example chart:

Flight attempt

Time in the air (sec)

Distance from starting point (cm)

1

 

 

2

 

 

3

 

 

4

 

 

AVERAGE

 

 

 

This teacher sheet is a part of the The Book of Potentially Catastrophic Science lesson.

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