8th Grade‎ > ‎Science‎ > ‎Unit 2: Motion and Forces‎ > ‎

Balloon Car Project

 The balloon powered car project:

For this assignment we dealt with a car powered only by the force of a balloon pushing the air out to make the car move. We show all the steps of how to make the car, along with graphs and data of the results of our car. We learned the different ways that forward and backward forces affect the performance of the car.
 
Car Name: Purple Turkey
Brandon Lazar
Caroline Wade
Science, Period 2
 
Car Project Packet


Sections in this packet are:

  • Pre-Building Brainstorm
  • Materials and Procedures
  • Challenges and Technical Difficulties
  • Data Collection/Testing Procedures
  • Results and Graphs
  • Experiment Pictures
  • Conclusion


Pre-Building Brainstorm


Testable Questions:

  1. Which Balloon-Powered Car Design will travel 5 meters the fastest?

The lightest, most powerful car design will travel the distance the fastest.

    2. Which Balloon-Powered Car Design will travel the furthest?
The car design that will travel the furthest is the car that is well built, light, powerful and travels a straight line.


Independent Variable:


Design of the car.


Dependent Variables:

The distance the car travels.

The time it takes the car to travel 5 meters.

Controlled Variables:

The balloon size and elasticity, the wind, the ground it is rolling on.


Things that can increase backwards force

Solutions to these problems

Air resistance against the front of the car.

Make the car hollow, or make it a slow incline from the front of car the middle or back.
 

Friction between the axle and the body of the car.


Use straws to simply carry the wheels and attach the straws to the car while leaving the axle to role freely.

How to keep the balloon open for air to travel through.


We are going to use a turkey baster that has a wide enough end to keep the balloon open.


Things that can increase forward force

Explain how your design will increase forward force

Put one balloon inside the other balloon


With two balloons deflating at the same time, it will cause more air to be pushed out quickly, increasing forward force.

A light car



By making our car light we wont have to use as much power to propel the car forward.

Aerodynamic



We decided to make our car hollow so that the air would pass right through without putting to much drag on the car.


List all the Materials you will need to bring in to build your car:

1. Paper towel roll

2. Turkey baster

3. Push pop bottoms

4. Tape

5. Scissors

6. Glue

7. Straws

8. Balloon


 

What part of car will this material be used for:
1. Body
2. Air channel-er
3. Wheels and axles
4. Connecting
5. Cutting
6. Attaching
7. Axle cover
8. Power source


Drawing of your group’s Car:

Top View:

 


The body is made of cardboard. The wheels are plastic. The arrow/air channel-er is a made of plastic. The circle on top is the balloon, made of rubber.

 

Side View:

 


The body is made of cardboard. The wheels are plastic. The arrow/air channel-er is a made of plastic. The circle on top is the balloon, made of rubber.



 

 

Materials and Procedures


Materials Used to Make Your Car (Also include the tools you used)


1. Paper towel roll

2. Turkey baster

3. Push pop bottoms

4. Tape

5. Scissors

6. Straws

7. Balloon

Why did you choose to use this material?



1. It is a hollow and light body

2. It allows us to blow up the balloon and direct air flow

3. They are perfectly round and the circular parts can easily pull on and off of the axle

4. It can hold things in place and it does not need to dry

5. It can be used to reshape items

6. They can be easily remodeled and is bigger then the axles

7. It is the only source of power allowed in this experiment.

Procedures – Written directions to make the car

Diagrams – Draw, describe, and/or insert a picture of what you did in that step (label if necessary)

STEP 1

We cut a hole in the paper towel roll for the turkey baster, and slid it in.

 


 

 


STEP 2

After that we poked four holes in the paper towel roll, two on each side, with each parallel to another.



 


STEP 3

We put the straws through the holes and taped them in place, then put the wheel axles inside the straws; attaching the wheels.




 

STEP 4

Then we attached the balloon around the fat end of the turkey baster, blew it up, then let it roll.




 

 



 

Challenges and Technical Difficulties


Describe the problem. You may also use drawings.

Explain how you solved this problem.

Problem #1:

The car was not going straight and was going off the track.


We drilled new holes and worked with the position of the straws and axles to make it perform better.

Problem #2:

We could not keep the balloon open for the air to flow out efficiently. 


We attached the end of the balloon to the fat end of the turkey baster to keep the balloon open.

Problem #3:

There was too much friction  between the axles and the body of the car.


To solve this we added straws to attach to the car and the axles of the wheels went through the straws, so that they move freely but still stay on.

 

 

Results and Graphs

Experiment Data Table: Your car’s data

Time (seconds)

Timer 1 data

Timer 2 data

Master Timer  data

Average Time

Distance (meters)

0

0

0

0

 1.56

1.18 

 

1.37 

1

 1.49

 1.56

 

 1.53

2

 2.48

 2.10

 

 2.29

3

 3.3

 2.96

 

 3.13

4

 4.22

 4.99

 

 4.61

5

 
 

 

Distance vs. Time Data Table
Distance vs. Time Graph
Time (Seconds)
Position (meters)
0 0
1.37
1
1.53
2
2.29
3
3.13
4
4.61
5

 

 

 

Distance Range
Is the object speeding up, slowing down, or moving at a constant speed?
Is the slope increasing, decreasing or constant?
0 - 1 meter
Speeding
Increasing
1 - 2 meters
Speeding
Increasing
2 - 3 meters
Slowing
Decreasing
3 - 4 meters
Constant
Constant
4 - 5 meters
Slowing
Decreasing




Finding the Speed of your car: 


At meter 0:

 
D = 0m
 
T = 0s

0/0=0


S =  0m/s

From 0 - 1 meter:

D = 1m
 
T = 1.37s

1/1.37= 0.73


S =   0.73m/s

From 1 - 2 meters:

D = 1m
 
T = 0.16s

1/.16= 6.25


S = 6.25m/s 

From 2 - 3 meters:

D = 1m
 
T = 0.76s

1/.76= 1.32


S =  1.32m/s

From 3 - 4 meters:

D = 1m
 
T = 0.84s    

1/.84= 1.19


S =  1.19m/s

From 4 - 5 meters
D = 1m
 
T = 1.48s

1/1.48= .68


S =  0.68m/s

 
 
Speed vs. Time Data Table
Speed vs. Time Graph

Time

(seconds)

Speed

(m/s)

0 0
1.37
0.73
1.53
6.25
2.29
1.32
3.13
1.19
4.61
0.68

 
 
Distance Range
Accelerating, Decelerating, or No Acceleration Positive, Negative, or Zero Slope?
0 - 1 meter
Accelerating
Positive
1 - 2 meters
Accelerating
Positive
2 - 3 meters
Decelerating
Negative
3 - 4 meters
Decelerating
Negative
4 - 5 meters
Decelerating
                                                                                                                                ^Negative

Average Speed of the Car from 0 to 5 Meters:

Total Distance = 5m
 
Total Time =  4.61s


Average Speed =  1.08m/s




 


 

Class Data Table:

Group

Car Name

Time to 5 Meters

(sec)

Average Speed (m/s)

Total Distance (m)

1AB

              The BJ Mobile

7.79

.64

5 meters

1CD

The Sailboat

n/a

.40

3 meters

2AB

Sling Shot

1.765

2.83

5 meters

2CD

Swiss Roller

10.40

.48

5 meters

3AB

Da FireCracka

n/a

.54

4 meters

3CD

Wind'em Up

n/a

.49

3 meters

4AB

Speed Racer

3.23

1.55

5 meters

4CD

The Bottle Mobile 

5.13

.98

5 meters

5AB

Hayden Mobile 007-2

n/a

.54

4 meters

5CD

TGM 21

5.01

1.00

5 meters

6AB

The Green Mobile

5.17

.97

5 meters

6CD

NASA Nodule (D=11.9m)

3.15

1.59

5 meters

7AB

The JS

8.39

.60

5 meters

7CD

The Blimp

7.16

.70

5 meters

8AB

Whipped Cream

6.39

.78

5 meters

8CD

Purple Turkey

4.61

1.08

5 meters

9AB

Alina

n/a

.30

1 meter

Average

Class Average

5.68

0.91

4.12 meters


 

 


Experiment Pictures

 

Experiment Set Up / Track


Top View

Side View

Front View

Construction View

45 degree View

Balloon Inflated View


 

Conclusion

Our car did slightly better then average overall. It went 0.88 meters farther then the average distance. The speed was also 0.17 faster than the average car. So altogether our car, the Purple Turkey, was above average. If we were given the chance to do this project again, we would make some changes so the car would perform even better. Some important changes would be to have less friction and backwards force; because if there is no friction between the car and ground as well as the axels and the car body it will run smoother and faster. Plus by changing the dynamics of the body and the weight of the car the friction and backwards force will be lessoned. Another way to make our car go faster is if we made the wheels perfectly in line with each other then the car would roll straight. For in our experiment, on the track the car swerved to the right, going off track then hitting something to come back on, which slowed down the speed of the car. Once the changes to the wheels and dynamics of the car are made we would have better forward force causing the car to go faster and improving our results. Some advice for Mr. Pourhamidi's class next year would be to focus a lot on the wheels, because even though it seems like it will be really simple, there is a whole lot that can go wrong with them.  Anyone who does this project should make sure that the balloons are pointed down if they are meant to blow the air, and that they put thie axle in a straw and attach the straw.  Also, make sure that the holes for the axles are parallel.


 
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