- Education and Science
Balloon Powered Car Physics Toy
Balloon Powered Car
Recently in physics class, we had to make a toy that demonstrated each of Newton's three laws. I had absolutely no idea what to make so I did a little research and decided to make a balloon powered car. It was extremely easy to make and all of the supplies that I used were found around my house. I didn't have to go out and buy anything! Here is a guide on how to make the toy and how each of Newton's laws is demonstrated with the toy.
You Will Need....
- toothpicks or skewers
USE THE PICTURE ABOVE AS A REFERENCE
First you cut out a square body with the cardboard and scissors. You can make the body as large as you want but just make sure that the skewers or toothpicks are longer than the width of the body.
Second cut out two pieces of a straw that are smaller than the width of the body and tape them onto the bottom.
Third take your toothpicks or skewers and put them inside the straws on the bottom of the body. They will act as the axels for the car.
Fourth cut out four wheels with the cardboard and scissors then stab them onto the axels. If the wheels fall off a lot then you can put a piece of tape on the end of the axel to prevent this.
Fifth tape the balloon to the end of a straw and then tape the straw onto the body as shown in the picture above.
How the Toy Demonstrates Newton's Laws
First Law: Newton's first law states that an object in motion sill stay in motion while an object at rest will stay at rest until acted on by an outside source. If you put the car down on a flat surface it won't move. But if you fill up the balloon and release that air after you place the car down it will move because it is being acted on by an outside force.
Second Law: Newton's second law basically states that force=mass x acceleration. It extends the first law by giving us this formula for finding how much force is needed to accelerate an object. This is demonstrated in the toy because the more weight you add to the car the slower the acceleration. Also the less you blow up the balloon the smaller the force will be acting on the car.
Third Law: Newton's third law states that for every action there is an equal/opposite reaction. This is demonstrated with the car because the action is the air rushing out of the balloon. The reaction is the car accelerating forward.
Other Cool Ideas
Some other cool ideas that people had in my class were a catapult, sling shot, and balloon powered boat. My favorite would have to be the boat version of what I made! I didn't really get a good look of what is was made of but I assume it was almost the same except with out wheels and the body was different so it would float better.