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Loony Balloons

Source Institutions

    New York Hall of Science

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Loony Balloons

In this activity, learners investigate how changing the center of gravity of a balloon affects how it travels. Learners fill a balloon with a little bit of water and insert into an empty balloon. Then, learners inflate the outside balloon and throw it in the air. Learners will discover that the balloon moves oddly in a loopy fashion, because the inflated balloon has less mass than the water-filled balloon inside. Use this activity to demonstrate inertia, center of gravity, and mass. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on Activity write-up only, images are unavailable.]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
Under 5 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration


Materials List (per student)

  • Two balloons
  • Water


  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
      • Newton's Laws
      • Center of Gravity
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Mass and Weight
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Toys


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection:

  • TryScience


  • All Rights Reserved, TryScience/New York Hall of Science, ©1999


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