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Balancing Ball: Suspend a ball in a stream of air

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    The Exploratorium

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Balancing Ball: Suspend a ball in a stream of air

Balance a ball in the air with a hair dryer! This Exploratorium produced activity shows learners concepts like lift and air streams. You can try many different angles, speeds, and ball types.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
Under 5 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 18

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • Hair dryer (blower)
  • A spherical balloon or table-tennis ball
  • Tissue paper
  • Optional: A stand for the blower
  • Optional:Vacuum cleaner such as a Shop-Vac, which has a reversible hose so it can be used as blower
  • Optional:A lightweight vinyl beach ball
  • Optional: A stand for the vacuum cleaner hose


  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
      • Momentum and Velocity
      • Acceleration
      • Projectile Motion
      • Newton's Laws


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  • Free access




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