4 Science: Wind Pressure

Teachers, please sing our wind song with your students a few times before starting class.  Making arm movements or being dramatic helps the students enjoy it more!
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For our little ones:
  • Show your little students pictures of the wind moving across North America.   Have them stand up and twirl to the right.  This would be in the Northern Hemisphere.  Shout NORTH AMERICA, EUROPE, Northern ASIA.  Then twist left, this is the Southern Hemisphere.  Shout SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE, South America, Africa, Australia, Southern Asia.
  • Ask your students to draw swirls to depict wind moving in their Eden Hope Academy Books. No written words are necessary for our little guys.

For our older students:

  • Show your students pictures of the wind moving across North America.   Have them stand up and twirl to the right.  This would be in the Northern Hemisphere.  Shout NORTH AMERICA, EUROPE, Northern ASIA.  Then twist left, this is the Southern Hemisphere.  Shout SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE, South America, Africa, Australia, Southern Asia.
  • Ask your students to draw swirls to depict wind moving in their Eden Hope Academy Books. Write the words: Wind is caused by air flowing from high pressure to low pressure.  (I’m not sure if you’re want to mention this or not… but you could use the example of a burp :-))

Materials

To create a balloon rocket car, you will need the following items:

  • EHA printout
  • Straws
  • Tape
  • Balloon
  • Wooden skewers

Procedures

The Car

The very first thing you’ll have to do is to create the car itself. Take the plastic water bottle. This will serve as the body of the car. Next is to attach its wheels on each side using the bottle caps. You do this by taking the flexi drinking straws and cutting them in two. Use the duct tape or the masking tape to attach them to the body. The 4 pins will serve as the wheel axles. Run them through the straws to prevent the wheels from being crooked.

Get a hammer and nail to create holes through the centre of all the 4 bottle caps. Part the wooden skewer in two, approximately 1.5 inches longer than the cut straws. Insert the wooden skewers through the centre holes of the bottle cap. Test your car to make sure the wheels roll smoothly.

The Balloon Rocket

Now that you have created your car, it is time to create the balloon rocket that we will be attached to the bottle car. Take the party balloon and inflate it. Create a nozzle by taping 4 drinking straws to each other. Insert the straw in the opening of the balloon and put masking tape around it to secure the position of the straw to the balloon opening. Make sure that there is no other room for air to exit through than the straw you have just inserted. The size of the nozzle is important as creating a very narrow one will prevent the air from freely escaping from the balloon thus affecting the speed of your balloon rocket car. On the other hand, if the nozzle is too wide, the air will escape too quickly, affecting the running distance of your car.

Attach the Balloon to the Car

The next procedure is to attach the balloon to the bottle car. You can do this by cutting an X shape on top of the car with the use of a knife. Make sure an adult is watching you perform this step, or you can ask the adult to do it for you to avoid accidents or any form of injury. After cutting the X shape on top of your car, thread the nozzle through the opening and out the opening of the plastic bottle. Allow one inch of the nozzle to stick out of the opening of the bottle. Now you’re done!

Place your car on a long flat and hard surface to test that your balloon rocket car is working. Inflate the balloon using the straw protruding out of the bottle opening. Hold the base of the balloon so it stops the air from being released. Let your car zoom away by letting go of your grip, allowing the air to exit through the straw nozzle!

Discussion

As soon as you release your grip, the car starts running forward, thus illustrating Newton’s Third Law of Motion called Action and Reaction. This law states that “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction”. Look at the balloon rocket car experiment and notice that as soon as you let go of your grip the air escapes through the straw nozzle, propelling the car across the flat surface in the opposite direction because the balloon air is under pressure. Here, the air escaping the balloon is the action, while the car moving towards the other direction illustrates the reaction.

 

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