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Balloon Cars

November 19, 2012

from Holy Cross Jr. High Science Teacher, Mrs. Patterson –

The past two weeks, while having fun and engaging in some higher level thinking skills, the Holy Cross 7th graders have been busy studying and applying Newton’s Laws of Motion. Their task was to design and build a balloon race car using materials from home such as cardboard from cereal boxes, styrofoam meat trays, bottle caps, CD’s, foam, craft sticks, drinking straws and/or bamboo skewers. They were not able to use any balloon car racer kit from a hobby store or any prefabricated wheels. They powered their race car with one 9-inch balloon and a drinking straw. 

They quickly learned how to adapt their designs to the amount of force that would move their car across the finish line.

Everyone participated in 3 trial runs on a 5-meter race track. They collected data on their car’s mass, speed and average acceleration using that information to calculate the amount of force needed to move their car. 

The project concluded with the students racing against their classmates and advancing in the brackets to a first, second and third place winner. Our boys’ and girls’ winners are:

1st Place:  Noah Pudenz & Kristen Haeusser

2nd Place: Kenny Gavin & Ali Stallbaumer

3rd Place: Jorge Palazuelos & Abbey Motley

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