Balloon Surfing

Today we tried an experiment to test how much force is needed to burst balloons. 

We called it “Balloon Surfing”. 

Our question was: How many children can stand on a table that is balancing on balloons?

Here are some of our predictions:

  • It will hold 3 children
  • The balloons will slip out from under the table
  • It will hold 6 children, the balloons will then pop and the table will fall
  • The balloons will get squashed, not burst
  • Three children that are the same size (only tall) will pop the balloons
  • The smaller the children the more that will be able to balance on the balloons

For our experiment, we placed 15 balloons under a table.  We needed to make sure the balloons were only half blown up and that they were evenly placed beneath the table.  We also needed to have this experiment on the carpet.  Ms. Tieppo helped balance the table while the children in our class hopped onto the table. Very slowly each child carefully climbed onto the table.

 Were we surprised!!!  We managed to get 16 children on the first time and when we repeated it we got 18 children.  There were so many giggles and screams as we kept adding another child!  It was such great fun!

Here is why the balloons didn’t burst:  When the balloon flattens out enough, the pressure of the air inside the balloon equals the pressure of the desk on the balloon and the balloon can support the weight of the desk.


Balloon Surfing on PhotoPeach

9 thoughts on “Balloon Surfing

  1. Hi Ms Tieppo,
    The balloon surfing was aaaaeeeessssoooommme.
    I thought the balooons were going to pop and we would slip and fall over

    From Marc ;-]

  2. Hi 2TM,

    What a fantastic experiment. You looked so excited and nervous at the same time. Waiting for that pop in anticipation and then it never happened.

    If I had to take a guess I would have thought they would pop with all those children on them and not to mention the weight of the table.

    Keep smiling
    Elizabeth Guest

    • Dear Elizabeth,

      Thanks for the comment.
      We had fun doing our experiment. The first time we did the experiment we blocked our ears in case the balloons popped.

      The experiment was “extreme”!

      From all of us in 2TM 😉

  3. Way too much fun 2TM!!

    I love the looks on your faces as you waited for the balloons to pop!

    It would be interesting to see if there is a Guiness world record for this experiment.

    I wonder if the teachers did your experiment how many teachers would fit on the table – what do you think?

    Miss Y 🙂

    • Dear Miss Y,

      Riley thinks we could fit 6 teachers on the table. We might not know because of their weight- says Tarrant.
      Marc thinks 10 teachers could break the balloons.

      We might search for the Guiness world record soon.

      From all of us in 2TM ;-]

  4. Hi 2TM,

    You sound like you have been doing some very interesting science experiments. I thought the balloons would have burst with 18 children and a table! I wonder what you will do next?

    From Miss Pitcher

    • Dear Miss Pitcher,

      We are going to search the Guiness world record to see if anyone has done the same experiment. We are also going to try our experiment on different surfaces.

      From all of us in 2TM 🙂

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