design and construct a balloon-powered hover craft that will
travel the furthest distance possible in one direction.
What you need:
1 plastic lid cover from a coffee can, ice cream bucket or
6 drinking straws
50 cm of duct tape
3 round balloons (the inflated circumference should not exceed
1 sheet of 21.6 cm x 27.9 cm (8.5" x 11") construction paper
2 rubber bands
The materials listed above should be the ONLY materials used
in the construction of your hover craft. However, you do not
have to use all of the materials suggested in its construction.
The challenge of this activity is to harness the potential energy
of inflated balloons, and use that energy to lift and propel
a plastic lid along the floor in a designated direction.
Remember, regardless of the balloon's size, once inflated, the
circumference should not exceed 100 cm. Once the hover craft
has been launched, do not touch it until the balloons have fully
deflated and the craft comes to a stop.
Record the distance traveled from start to stop. If the hover
craft does not travel in a straight path, measure only the distance
it traveled along the original path you chose. It is best to
perform this activity in an area of ample space.
Repeat the run a couple of times, measuring the distance traveled
along the designated path each time. Determine if there is a
way to modify the craft's construction by altering the combination
of materials used from the suggested list, or by inflating the
balloons to various circumferences (remember not to exceed 100
cm). Can you design the craft to travel further by implementing
these alterations? The test is yours to take.
The following activity is reprinted with the permission of Jim
Kreuger, Program Consultant, Kivalliq Divisional Education Council,
Baker Lake, Nunavut