Now you have a blimp that spins through the air. It's really simple to
make more blimps and experiment with changes in the basic blimp design.
See if you can make a blimp that spins faster or stays up for a longer
It's best if you make just one change at a time. Here
are some things you can try:
- Make the paper strip longer or shorter.
- Make the paper strip wider or narrower.
- Make the tails longer or shorter.
- Cut the ends of the tails so they're pointy.
- Try using different kinds of paper.
You can also color your paper strip before you fold it into a blimp. That
won't make it spin better, but it's fun to watch patterns
and colors spin through the air.
Learning to experiment
The Spinning Blimp is a great toy to experiment with. Change a little
something and see what happens. Your blimp probably flies fine-but maybe
a blimp with a shorter tail would spin even better. We've suggested some
ways to modify your blimp, but our suggestions are just the beginning.
What other modifications can you and your kids come up with?
While you're experimenting, it may look like you're just fooling around.
And you are fooling around-but you're also paying attention to what happens
when you change your blimp. By making changes and noticing what happens,
you're following in the footsteps of many scientists. Many scientific discoveries
have come about because someone was "just fooling around."
When you're fooling around, some of the things you try won't work very
well. Maybe you make a change in your Spinning Blimp and it takes a nosedive.
That's okay. In fact, that's great. You've learned something about what
doesn't work, which is important to know. And maybe sometime you'll want
to make a blimp that dives-and you'll know how.
Another part of fooling around scientifically is keeping track of your
results. What works well? What doesn't work at all? Keep track of experiments
that you try. If you come up with a new design that you like, tell us about
it. We'd like to try it, too!