First, take a virtual visit to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Be sure to click forward to see the colorful array of balloons.
- If you have a balloon and a plastic 2L bottle (or a 500ml plastic water bottle) try these phenomena.
Discuss or write:
- Why do you think this happens?
- What do you notice? What do you wonder? What does this remind you of?
Draw a diagram explaining how this phenomena occurred. Be sure to include the visible as well as the invisible (molecules). Label your science diagram as completely as possible. Keep your diagram because you may want to revise it as you learn more about the density of air.
Explore the science behind why the balloon expanded and contracted by choosing a few of these resources. This will also help you understand how this activity helps us explain the science behind hot air balloons.
- Short Reading: Hot Air vs. Cold Air
- Short Reading: Hot Air Expands
A more thorough reading of How Hot Air Balloons Work from How Stuff Works.
Practice Flying your own hot air balloon with this BrainPOP simulation.
Take a look at your original diagram explaining the phenomena of the balloon expanding when the bottle was in warm water and contracting when the bottle was in ice water.
Now that you have done some reading and watched some videos, improve your diagram by adding details and labeling more accurately.
Write a scientific explanation using the Claim Evidence Reasoning format. Make a copy of this CER writing template here.
Reminder: What are the Claim, Evidence, and Reasoning?
Using science: Safety Warning! Do this only with your parent’s permission and in a place that is safe for candles to burn.
Use the engineering design process to build your own miniature hot air balloon. Record your attempts in video or pictures like these students did. Explain how you made each iteration of your balloon better.
Use a toaster as your heat source instead of candles. Science Buddies Up, Up, and Away.
Make your own paper mache’ hot air balloon.
If you could travel anywhere in the world in a hot air balloon, where would you go? Draw or paint a picture of your adventure.
On November 21, 1783 the first free flight carrying a human occurred in Paris, France in a hot air balloon made of paper and silk made by the Montgolfier brothers.
Learn more about the History of Ballooning from the National Balloon Museum, Iowa.
- Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne – full audiobook
- Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne – ebook
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