The James Dyson Foundation science and engineering challenge for kids has provided me with no end of inspiration. I don’t have kids but it doesn’t matter, the challenges such as the spaghetti bridge, or the paper water bombs have been a fun and different way of getting me to use my brain. Today I thought I’d try another of the cards, and make a weather balloon.
What I love about the challenge is that it’s all using household objects, so for this, I just need a jar, a balloon, a rubber band, and a straw. The idea is that the straw depending on the change in pressure between the trapped air in the jar and the air outside.
The aim is to keep a log of what the weather is like each day, and where the straw is pointing. I’m not actually sure if I’ve done this correctly or not, as my straw hasn’t moved the whole time. It’s now been 24 hours since I first made the balloon, and the weather has been quite consistent, so I’m not sure if it’s me, or the pressure has stayed the same.
This was a little disappointing, mainly because I haven’t seen any results yet, but also because it was quite simple to make. It took me no more than 5 minutes to construct, and half of that was spent finding the sticky tape: I would have liked it to be a little more involved. Maybe next time I’ll try an adult science challenge, and stretch my brain a little further, I can’t complain that a children’s challenge is too easy for me after all.