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Balloon Science

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by , 04-13-2012 at 08:05 AM (2400 Views)
Anyone who has read my blog posts for a while knows how much I hate Science. I can't stand science. I don't want any part of it. I don't want to teach it. I don't understand it. I don't care. Okay, now that I've got that out of my system I'll tell you that I have a nine year old science nut. He loves science. He just eats up anything that has anything to do with science. Since he was two years old he has said that he wants to be an astronaut. Science is in his blood. So, as any good homeschool mom, I've been trying to teach him science. We use an online science program but sometimes you just need to get in there and do some hands on work. This week we decided to try some science with balloons.

My son was blowing up a balloon one day. He stopped and complained about how hard it was to blow up the balloon. Well, I had one of those brillant moments where I kneew what to do. It's time for a science lesson. We put a couple of tablespoons of baking soda in the balloon. Then we filled a one liter bottle halfway up with vinegar. I pulled the balloon carefully over the top of the bottle being careful to not let any of the baking soda fall into the bottle. Then we took the whole thing outside. Once we were out in the backyard, my son lifted the balloon so that all of the baking soda fell into the bottle of vinegar. As soon as the baking soda hit the vinegar the balloon started to swell. Instant hit. He was so surprised to see the balloon inflate all by itself. For once mom was a science wizard. We talked about the chemical reaction that caused the balloon to inflate. Unfortunately I did not take a picture of our balloon.

Once we went back inside I put another balloon inside a one liter bottle and asked him to blow it up. He tried and tried and tried but got absolutely nowhere. That silly thing would not blow up at all.

Then I punched holes in the bottom of the bottle with a small nail and handed it back to him. He was then easily able to blow up the balloon until it filled the whole bottle. We talked about how the air pressure was filling the bottle so there was no place for the balloon to inflate. Once I punched holes in the bottle, the air could escape through the holes and the balloon would inflate.

Okay, so sometimes science is not boring. Sometimes this reluctant mom can be a scientist. What fun things have you done to teach science at your house? Have you done any fun experiments with balloons? Maybe you've used baking soda and vinegar to launch film canisters. Let us know how you make science fun.