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Balloon vs. Pin Experiment

Activity Overview

Explore the scientific phenomenon of surface tension in this Balloon vs. Pin Experiment. Budding scientists of all ages are certain to wow their friends with this masterful feat of Science. If a balloon comes in contact with a pin, it will pop under any circumstances, right? Don't be so sure!

Think of surface tension like skin. If you had one pin pushing into the balloon the pressure would cause the pin to pop the balloon. In this experiment, the pressure is distributed to 15 points allowing surface tension to distribute the pressure so the balloon doesn't pop.

Materials Needed

  • 2 balloons
  • 15 pushpins

How to Do It

  1. First, blow up both balloons and tie them off.
  2. Place one push pin point side up on the table in front of you.
  3. Place the first balloon on top of the pin and place you hand on top of it and push down. Observe what happens.
  4. Next, place 15 pins closely together pin side up on the table.
  5. Place the second balloon on top of the group of pins and place your hand on top of it and push down. Observe what happens.

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