Hooked On Science – Make a Pumpkin Float in the Air

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SCIENCE SAFETY
PLEASE follow these safety precautions when doing any science experiment.
• ALWAYS have an adult present.
• ALWAYS wear the correct safety gear while doing any experiment.
• NEVER eat or drink anything while doing any experiment.
• REMEMBER experiments may require marbles, small balls, balloons, and other small parts. Those objects could become a CHOKING HAZARD. Adults are to perform those experiments using these objects. Any child can choke or suffocate on uninflated or broken balloons. Keep uninflated or broken balloons away from children.

INGREDIENTS
• Hair Dryer
• Styrofoam Pumpkin

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INSTRUCTIONS
STEP 1: Turn the hair dryer to the lowest setting and point the stream of air upward.
STEP 2: Place the pumpkin into the stream of air and observe. Provide evidence of the effects of balance and unbalanced forces on the motion of the pumpkin.
STEP 3: Turn the hair dryer to the highest setting and point the stream of air upward.
STEP 4: Place the pumpkin into the stream of air and observe. Compare the effects of the different strengths of air flowing from the hair dryer, on the motion of the pumpkin.

EXPLANATION
The stream of air, flowing from the hair dryer, forces the pumpkin upward. Gravity pulls the pumpkin downward. Where the forces balance, the pumpkin floats. The fast stream of air, flowing around the aerodynamic pumpkin, creates a lower pressure, directly around the pumpkin. The higher pressure, surrounding the pumpkin, forces the pumpkin into the stream of air.

Download these instructions here and check the Hooked on Science page for more science experiments.