Balloon Car Essay
Our first idea was to make a paper Lamborghini. We looked on many websites to find ways to make an origami-type Lamborghini. All of the instructional videos that we found were at least an hour-and-a-half, or did not even look like a car. As we got to school I had the idea to look up paper models of Lamborghinis, the kind where it has the dotted lines and you cut it out, fold it where it says to, and tape it together. We printed it out and we could not get it big enough on a standard-sized piece of printer paper.
There were five basic shapes on the model so we just decided to take five pieces of paper and draw the shapes much bigger and duplicate the design. After we drew the design and cut it all out we decided to cut out pieces of cardboard the same shape and put it behind the paper so it was more stable and added some weight. For our balloon, we put a hole in the back of the car that we could put a straw through, and taped the balloon to the straw. We taped the straw up on the back part of the car so when we blew up the balloon it would go straight up.
Our wheel idea came to mind when I was drawing out an idea for our car. I was using a blue highlighter, accidentally dropped it, and we discovered how fast it rolled. We decided to try to pop out the center part of the highlighter so we could put a piece of wire through the center through the two ends and hook the wire through the bottom part of the sides of the car. We were going to use two highlighters, one in the front and one in the back, instead of “4 wheels”. However, we could not get the center out of the highlighters. We went “dumpster diving” around the school and ending up getting pop caps from Ms.
Chambers. Since our idea was to use highlighters and the wire, once we hammered a hold through each of the caps, we couldn’t figure out how to make them turn because we did not have a good axle. We tried to use just a straw for the axle and that did not work. We then tried to compact the straw so it was not as big around and that did not work either. We also tried to put nails through the caps and stick the nails into the side of the car but that did not work either. Our next idea was to go to the band room and put four timpani wheels on the bottom of our car, but they were way too heavy.
Eventually we smashed the straws to make them thinner and put it inside a hollowed-out pen. This made a good axle and we used this for our car. As we tested our car to see if it would move, it did not. We realized that our car may be too heavy so we had to think of a Plan B. We decided to take five kabob sticks and hot glue them side-by-side so it was pretty much flat. We then put our Pepsi cap wheels on the bottom, and taped the straw and balloon on top. We tested it and it moved over five meters and the path it took was fairly straight. The speed of our car is 2. 37 Meters/second.
We found our speed because it took 2. 37 seconds to travel one meter. Our car is a good example of inertia. It keeps moving until its “power source” (balloon) runs out of air. It stops it because if the balloon never ran out of air, and if there was nothing in its path, our car would never stop moving. It’s also an example of acceleration because it starts off slow, gets a little faster, and as the balloon starts to run out of air, it slows down again. It’s also an example of every action has an equal and opposite reaction, because as the balloon releases air the car moves.