By combining a balloon and some Legos, you can create an awesome car that uses kinetic energy to race your friends. With a few simple steps and some imagination, you can design your car, just make sure to have a space for your balloon engine at the back of the car body. Blow up your balloon and release….it’s the Michigan Speedway in your living room. How many different car designs can you create? Which will reach the checkered flag faster?
What you need:
- Assorted Lego bricks, including wheels
- Flat floor for racing
What you do:
- Build your racing car using Lego bricks.
- Leave a spot to wedge your balloon at the back.
- Blow up your balloon and hold closed until you release it on the raceway.
- 3, 2, 1……go!
- Have someone time your car. Build several cars to see which runs fastest.
- Race against your friends for the winner’s cup!
Want more? Experiment and discover …
What makes your car go faster or slower? Have someone time your car. Then build several cars to see which runs fastest.
Does it matter how much air is in the balloon? Try a really, really full balloon and a kind of full balloon.
Race against your friends for the winner’s cup!
Why does it work?
When you blow up the balloon, set your racer down, and let it go, escaping air from the balloon rushes out of the balloon causing it to move forward. The principle at work is Newton’s Third Law of Motion, which states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. In the case of the balloon/Lego car, the action is the air rushing from the balloon. The reaction is the movement of the car!