Hands-On Science

Rocket Science: Balloon Races

Balloon races are fun group activities and can be as creative as you are. Materials are inexpensive (see below) and the rules are easy (make up your own.)



The idea is to tape balloons to the drinking straw segments and use the fishing line, threaded through the straw segments, to guide the balloons when you release the ends.

The simplest arrangement is to run the fishing line between a pair of chairs placed at opposite ends of the room. First, thread a drinking straw segment on the free end of your fishing line. Tie the fishing line to one side of a chair near the top of its back, run it across the room, and tie it off to the other chair. Repeat for the other side of the chair so that you have two parallel race tracks, each with a piece of drinking straw suspended on it.

Bring the straw pieces to one end of the room, your starting line. Each team can blow up a balloon, tape it to the straw segment, and when you give the word, release them. The two balloons will race off towards the finish line!

That's the basic idea. What can we do to add some content to the activity?

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This activity has been copied, with permission, from Alaska's Poker Flat Research Range server to ours, to allow faster access from our web site.
We encourage you to explore the original site.

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