J-Stace The Science Ace Builds a Balloon Hovercraft

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Hey parents! Looking for a substitute for your “science class”?
We recommend J-Stace the Science Ace.
Watch a balloon move across a surface without doing a thing!
An old CD or DVD disc
A 9” balloon
A pop-top cap from a liquid soap bottle or a water bottle
A hot glue
  1. Use the hot glue gun to carefully glue the bottle cap over the center hole of the CD and let it set. Make sure the edges are fully sealed.
  2. Push the pop-top cap closed. Blow up the balloon, then hold it so that no air escapes, but don’t tie it off. Stretch the mouth of the balloon over the bottle cap (you may need an assistant to help you do this so that you don’t lose any air from the balloon). Now adjust the balloon so that it stands up straight and centered.
  3. Set the hovercraft on a hard, smooth table and open the pop-top; then nudge the device along and see what happens.
The Science Behind the Experiment
Hovercrafts use air to lift a vehicle off of a surface but there has to be a lot of it moving very fast, straight down. The CD Hovercraft is no exception. As the balloon contracts, air is pushed through the holes you punched in the bottle cap. This air escapes out from under the CD in all directions. Because of the shape, smoothness, and weight distribution of the rig, the escaping air creates a thin cushion between the CD and the surface. This cushion of air dramatically reduces the friction between the CD and the surface that allows your hovercraft to move freely over a smooth surface.
Science Word of the DayAmphibious means able to use either land or water.