When we think of the future, we think space travel, teleportation, and of course, hoverboards! It turns out, the science behind making your own DIY hovercraft isn’t too hard. So, let’s make our own and jump head first into the future!
What you need:
- Old CD
- Dish soap cap
- Hot glue gun
What you do:
First, have an adult ring the bottom of the dish soap cap with hot glue. Be generous, because we want to make sure it’s fully sealed! Quickly stick it onto the old CD (not the shiny side) so that it is right over the hole in the middle. Wait for the glue to dry.
Next, take the balloon and stretch it to cover the dish soap cap. Make sure the cap is open inside the balloon.
Blow the balloon up through the hole in the CD. Once the balloon is filled, quickly set your DIY hovercraft onto a smooth surface and watch it fly!
Questions to consider:
- How does the DIY hovercraft move?
- What scientific properties are at work here?
- How many balloons would you need to make a hovercraft big enough to ride on?
Why it works:
Our DIY hovercraft works because the air from the balloon, slowed down by the dish soap cap, blows through the hole in the CD onto the flat surface. This creates a small air pocket between the CD and the flat surface.
The direction of the air from the balloon then forces the DIY hovercraft to travel in the same direction. After all, an object in motion will stay in motion unless acted on by another force of equal or greater value. The DIY hovercraft stops moving when there is no more air flowing from the balloon, because the pocket of air disappears, and the object is no longer being acted on by a force. Thus, it remains at rest.