Challenge kids to puncture a balloon with a skewer in this fun STEM Challenge for kids. If you do it right you can stick a skewer all the way through the balloon without it popping. Keeps kids busy and thinking outside of the box with this fun “Don’t pop the balloon” STEM challenge.
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Supplies for Don’t Pop the Balloon
Give each participant a balloon and a wooden skewer. Then ask them if they think it is possible to stick a skewer through a balloon. The kids will likely say “no”, that it is not possible. Tell the kids that it is possible and challenge them to figure it out.
The Solution to Don’t pop the balloon challenge
Pierce the balloon with the skewer through the thickest part of the balloon opposite the knot. Push the skewer through the balloon so that it is completely through and the skewer sticks out of both sides of the balloon. The balloon will not pop and will hold the air as long as you do not remove the skewer.
Kids had a lot of ideas, some thought that if you poke it quickly the air might stay in the balloon. Others thought that you could stab the balloon through the tied end and the air would not escape.
The kids loved this activity, mostly because they get to play with balloons, but in the end it did not take them long to figure out the trick. The reason this works is because the skewer holds the air in by plugging the holes, if you remove the skewer the balloon would deflate in an instant.
More Balloon Activities
If you enjoy the “Don’t pop the balloon” STEM Challenge you may enjoy the Balloon Hover Challenge where children are asked to defy gravity and make a helium balloon hover without touching the ceiling or the floor. Another simple activity is the Static Can Races where kids use the power of static electricity to move an aluminum can from one point to another.
Looking for even more balloon physics knowledge Learn about the why balloons pop when pricked by a needle and the physics of and balloons at Scienceabc.com