Balloons and Buoyancy

If you are flying high in a hot air balloon, can a helium balloon pass you? Simulation allows pupils to predict how changing pressure, volume, and temperature impacts helium balloons, hot air balloons, and a sphere filled with a different gas. Lesson emphasizes gas laws, buoyancy, and sink or float concepts.

9 Views 13 Downloads NGSS: Adaptable
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Instructional Ideas

  • Bring a balloon into class and demonstrate what happens when it is placed on something cold (ice water) and near something hot (wear goggles)
Classroom Considerations

  • Requires Windows XP or later, Mac OS 10.5 or later, or Linux Java 1.5.0_15 or later
  • Ideally, each scholar works independently, but working in teams of two could be successful if you are limited by access to technology
  • Open a free account to download the teacher tips

  • Includes translation into 56 languages other than English
  • Provides many teacher-submitted activities and lessons that use the simulator

  • None