Sun, Aug 05, 2007 - Page 14 News List

Sunday Science: The Magic Balloon 神奇的氣球

By Catherine Thomas  /  STAFF WRITER

The Magic Balloon


Welcome to Sunday Science! Every Sunday during the summer, we're going to guide you through some cool experiments that you can do at home. It's a good idea for you to keep a record of what you do in a Science Journal. That way you can record what you learn, compare results and maybe use them to design new experiments! Have a look at the Science Journal box for some ideas to get you started. Remember to always ask a grown-up's permission before trying out an experiment.




This week you get to amaze your friends and family with a magic balloon!

Make sure you put down some newspaper as the oil will be a bit messy!


What you will need:

Some good quality balloons

A bamboo or a metal skewer

Some cooking oil (baby oil will work too)

A saucer or a small dish

Some cotton buds (Q-tips)

Some newspaper

Wet wipes (optional - but very handy for removing oil from your hands!)

* Lay out some newspaper in a sensible area.

* Inflate some balloons and tie up the ends. Don't blow them up too big. Put the balloons aside for now.

* Pour some oil into the saucer or dish.

* If you are using bamboo skewers, rub them together to make sure there aren't any splinters.

* Put the end of a skewer in the oil, and use the cotton bud to spread the oil up and down the skewer. ? Pick up the balloon and find the nipple (the opposite end to the neck).

* Using a twisting motion, carefully push the skewer through the nipple.

* Keep twisting the skewer and aim it a little to the side of the tied end.

* Keep twisting until the skewer has come out of the other side of the balloon.

Vocabulary 今日單字

1. skewer n.

長籤 (chang2 qian1)

2. inflate v.t

充氣 (chong1 qi4)

3. splinter n.

碎屑 (sui4 xie4)

4. nipple n.

頂端 (ding3 duan1)

5. fragile adj.

脆弱的 (cui4 ruo4 de5)

6. rubber n.

橡膠 (xiang4 jiao1)

7. polymer chain n. phr.

聚合物鏈 (ju4 he2 wu4 lian4)

8. molecule n.

分子 (fen1 zi3)

9. lubricate v.t

潤滑 (run4 hua2)

10. friction n.

磨擦 (mo2 ca1)

Don't forget to record what happens in your Science Journal.









* 在適當的地點鋪上幾張報紙。

* 吹氣球,但別吹太大,把尾端綁緊先擺在一邊。

* 倒些食用油在小碟子裡。

* 如果用的是竹籤,記得先摩擦一下以免有碎屑。

* 將長籤的一端浸入油裡,用棉花棒將油上下抹勻。拿起氣球並找到突起的頂端(尾端相反處)。

* 使用扭轉的方式,小心將長籤從頂端穿入。

* 繼續往綁緊的尾端旋轉前進。

* 不斷旋轉直到長籤從尾端附近穿出。



What's the science? 科學原理

Balloons are made of rubber. Rubber is made up of polymer chains. "Poly" means lots of something. A polymer chain is many large molecules linked together to form a chain. A balloon has lots of polymer chains. As you inflate the balloon you stretch the polymer chains apart. At the nipple and neck of the balloon the polymer chains aren't as stretched, so the skewer can go through there. The oil lubricates the skewer and helps it enter the balloon without causing too much friction, which would stretch the polymer chains.


Bonus 你知道嗎

Try putting some tape on the side of the balloon and twisting the skewer through. How many skewers can you get through a taped- up balloon?


Science Journal 科學日誌

What do you know about balloons? What are they made of? What happens if you try to put a sharp object against the surface of a balloon? Are inflated balloons fragile? Are balloons fragile or sturdy before they are inflated? What is oil used for on a bicycle chain? Is the skewer rough or smooth? Will oil make the skewer more rough or more smooth?


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