Columns: Experimenting with Balloons (Document)
SHING YING: We were able to get one paper cup to support Garrett's weight. This is because paper is very strong when you pull on it a certain way. See how strong it is when I tug on it like this? This is called tension.
GARRETT: Well, now we want to see if we can support my weight with something other than cups— balloons.
SHING YING: I think it might pop.
GARRETT: I think it might pop, too.
SHING YING: I think it'll work with ten, but maybe pop when it gets, like, nine.
GARRETT: Okay, do you have a pin? All right, ready? Okay. Whoa! It's really slippery.
CAROLINE: What's it feel like?
SHING YING: The balloons are, like, bending. Would you feel comfortable if I popped one?
CAROLINE: So that's nine. So I'll pop another one.
SHING YING: So now there's eight left.
GARRETT: The balloons are changing shape.
SHING YING: Okay, ready?
CAROLINE: Okay, pop.
GARRETT: Okay, now... I felt that one. Okay, I felt that one, too.
CAROLINE: Why don't you pop one in the back?
SHING YING: Okay.
CAROLINE: So how many do we have left, six?
SHING YING: There's six.
GARRETT: Oh, I felt that one.
SHING YING: Wow! You went really down.
CAROLINE: Look at how much the balloons are stretching. They totally changed. Hold on to him really tight.
SHING YING: There's four.
GARRETT: Oh, okay, cool.
SHING YING: Now there's three.
GARRETT: Now there's three, and now I'm...
SHING YING: And they're stretching down really low.
GARRETT: They're changing shape?
CAROLINE: Yeah. Why don't you pop one in the front?
GARRETT: I felt that one.
CAROLINE: Whoa, you went down really low.
SHING YING: They're really flat!
CAROLINE: Here, why don't you pop the second to last?
GARRETT: Okay, that...Oh! Hold on. (pops)
SHING YING: It worked for, like, a second.
GARRETT: I know, it was up there and then once I got all my weight on it, it just went pop.
CAROLINE: It totally was like "phoo"!
SHING YING: I guess it just couldn't take all the pressure.
CAROLINE: You guys want to take them off and then try water balloons?
GARRETT: Oh, that would be so cool!
SHING YING: Ooh, can I get the last one?
CAROLINE: Yeah. Ten. Oh, my gosh.
GARRETT: This is going to be so much fun.
CAROLINE: It'll be awesome when we pop them.
GARRETT: Guys, what do you think...
CAROLINE: I don't know if it's going to hold you.
SHING YING: I think maybe you'll feel sturdier.
GARRETT: I don't know. You know how air was taking up the space of the balloon?
CARLINE: Now it's water.
SHING YING: We have to find out, don't we?
GARRETT: Okay, ready?
CAROLINE: This is so exciting.
SHING YING: Let's just feel it.
GARRETT: All right, ready?
CAROLINE: Okay, the big moment.
SHING YING: Yeah, they're definitely squished. Do you want me to pop one?
CAROLINE: Yeah, pop one. (squeals)
ZOOMers: Oh! So cool!
CAROLINE: Now my feet are all wet. Wow, it went down a lot.
SHING YING: Oh! I just got it in the sock!
CAROLINE: That went down a lot in the front. Let's pop one in the back.
GARRETT: Yeah, in the back. It feels really weird.
CAROLINE: So how many do we have left?
SHING YING: I think we have six. Do you want me to pop one?
CAROLINE: Each time you pop a balloon, it goes down more.
SHING YING: Whoa, they're really squished.
CAROLINE: Okay, I'll pop one.
SHING YING: Are you still going? So that's five.
GARRETT: Oh, man, that one was, like...How many are left, you guys?
CAROLINE: I think there are three left. Wow, they're really smooshed.
SHING YING: Oh! Oh, that one's...
GARRETT: Hold on, I'll try to stand on it. Wait a minute.
CAROLINE: Don't move.
SHING YING: Okay, let's see the bottom.
CAROLINE: Pop that one in the back.
GARRETT: Oh, I can see it coming out of the back. Look it! (squeals) Oh, that one's...
SHING YING: Hey, are you still going?
GARRETT: Yeah, I'm on this...
SHING YING: We got one!
CAROLINE: It's like surfing.
GARRETT: Is that one?
SHING YING: Yeah. Wait. There's one!
GARRETT: Oh, that's so cool! It's holding me up. Oh, my God, it's so cool!
SHING YING: Oh, my gosh!
CAROLINE: You're wicked low.
GARRETT: I can't believe we had ten water balloons. This one worked better than the air did. Like, it gradually...
CAROLINE: It has more space to stretch.
GARRETT: See how fat it gets when it stretches?
SHING YING: And it just goes, like, out.
GARRETT: That is so cool. Do you remember when we tested out cups and found that one large paper coffee cup was able to support my weight? Since the balloons changed shape when I stood on them, they weren't able to hold me up as high as the cup did.
CAROLINE: If you pull on a balloon like this, it stretches, but if you pull on a piece of paper, it doesn't stretch.
SHING YING: Would your results be the same if you filled the balloon with something like helium or salty water?
ZOOMer: Think of a question you'd like to answer. Make a prediction. Then test it out.
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