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