Screaming Balloons

Screaming Balloon 1

Our summer continues to be a bit of a free-for-all. Carefully laid plans have given way to spontaneous chaos and fun (okay and some boos boos, tantrums, and tears and maybe a few exasperated sighs from yours truly). Last week, Dora and I were supposed to be looking at the states of matter. I’m not sure how this came up or why I felt it tied in with the theme, but we ended up making some screaming balloons. I first heard about these when Gohan received a Steve Spangler science kit many years ago. You can see all of the directions, video, and notes to make Screaming Balloons at the Steve Spangler site. What it comes down to is that you put a 1/4” hex nut into a balloon and twirl the nut around in the balloon, which makes a very weird, screaming sound from the vibrations of the nut rubbing on the balloon. One has to wonder why someone ever thought of putting a hex nut in a balloon and twirling it around (kind of like why in the world did anyone ever think of putting a bar of soap under their sheets at their feet to cure restless leg syndrome, which I cannot vouch for by the way, as I have never tried it).

Screaming Balloon 2Note – I had to refresh my memory about how to do this, because at first we were holding the balloons by the tie and that does not work. So, if you decide to try this at home, be sure to hold the balloon by the main part of the balloon as Dora is doing in the photo above. Though, I personally found it easier to hold my hand out flat, like I was waiting for a high five, but with my fingers splayed. I then rotated the balloon horizontally.

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Labels: Science
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff