Balloon piercing plan with hints


Investigate the odds of rolling a certain number on a six - sided die.

Intended learnings & learners thinkings

Balloon Piercing Grade Level 4+ Name
Activity objective or outcome
Learners explore elasticity, pressure, equilibrium, evidence, model, explanation.
Materials; Balloons, knitting needle, bamboo skewer, or other narrow pointy object, oil, soap or other lubricant
Concepts Supporting Information Misconceptions Assessment
The piercing object may act like a plug and the elasticity of the balloon may be strong enough to make a tight enough seal around the plug to block the air in the balloon from escaping.
  • Needle is sharp
  • The needle will puncture a hole without tearing it.
  • The plastic bag is elastic.
  • It will stretch and pull back.
  • It is magic.


Strategies to achieve educational learnings

Exploration Procedure
  1. Suggest:
  2. Inflate a balloon to about half its normal size.
  3. Tie the balloon.
  4. Use a sharp knitting needle or bamboo skewer and gently wiggle it to make a small puncture in a thick spot on the balloon.
  5. Smoothly slide the needle or skewer through the balloon.
  6. Repeat the procedure on the other side of the balloon where it is also thick.
Invention Procedure
  1. Ask.
  2. What did you do that made it pop?
  3. What did you do that it didn't pop?
    Hint -
    Look at the very fine point and notice it can make a precise hole smaller than the point so if it is inserted smoothly it makes a very close fitting hole.
    Have them puncture a plastic bag with their finger and feel the finger hug the bag gives. slide it through a plastic bag.
    Suggest the bag can hug the needle tighter than the air pressure pushing out, therefore it doesn't leak or POP .
  4. Draw a picture and write an explanation for why it did not and did pop.
Discovery Activity
  1. Ask.
  2. Can you insert something on the side of the balloon?
  3. Hint. Stick the side of the balloon with a pin.



Dr. Robert Sweetland's notes
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