The challenge was to construct a balloon powered car and the groups, made up of children and their parents, fell upon it with great enthusiasm. Soon three and four wheeled vehicles were zipping around and new challenges were being dreamed up.
Some people made the cars beautiful, others saw what happened when they crashed, others designed twin and triple turbo engines and others made their designs sleeker and more aerodynamic. It was wonderful to hear all the questions and investigations going on around the hall.
Nick in Year 2 said “I really enjoyed making the card shape and pushing the straws through it. It was fun to think about how they would go in, and how it would push the car along. I was really pleased my mum was there to help me with the balloons, because they were hard to keep hold of and the car kept escaping! My car went so fast it could jump.”
Nicolaj in 1X said “Making the balloon car was fun. It was really fast and it would crash into things!”
There are some really lovely videos for children about balloon powered cars (and rocket powered cars, if you are feeling brave!) available at the Bloodhound project - the current team trying to break the land speed record. Have a look with your children if you’d like to develop your ideas further.
- Helen McMullen, Primary Science Coordinator