Hooked on Science: Skewer a Balloon
STEP 1: Blow up the balloon, let some of the air out of the balloon, and then tie a knot at the end to hold the air inside the balloon. Describe the balloon by using its observable properties.
STEP 2: Gently twist the skewer into the thick end of the balloon, opposite the knot. Continue to slowly push the skewer through the balloon until you push the skewer through the thick part near the knotted end of the balloon, stop, and observe. Describe how the balloon can be used as a model to describe that matter is made of particles too small to be seen.
The balloon is made up of polymers, which are a bunch of molecules linked together to form long chains. These long chains seal up around the skewer, keeping the air from escaping. Once you pull the skewer out of the balloon, the air escapes and the balloon deflates. Go to www.hookedonscience.org for more experiments that might get you and your family “Hooked on Science.”