2003 Virginia SOLs
Motivation for Learning
Preliminary Class Questions For Teacher Demonstration
Hold up a medium to large size balloon that is blown up with air. Ask the students
the following questions:
Teacher Demonstration Materials
Teacher's Resource Answers for Preliminary Class Demonstration Questions
Teacher Demonstration Procedure
Content areas observed in this activity are the states of matter, particle motion, kinetic energy, heat absorption, heat transfer methods, volume, pressure, and temperature. In each phase of matter, particles are in constant motion. Their phase speed is altered with the addition of heat energy. This addition increases the kinetic energy of the particles. Their collisions and friction increase the kinetic energy.
Molecules in each phase reflect heat absorption by changing volume. "Escaping" particles extend the material's volume as their speeds increase. When a boundary exists (like our balloon), the particle movements determine the force against the boundary. This creates pressure.
Particle movement determines temperature. The kinetic energy in one area may be different from another area. In the teacher demonstration, we observe Boyle's Law and Charles's Law as follows respectively: "If a sample of gas is kept at constant temperature, decreasing volume will increase the pressure that the gas exerts on a surface. If a sample of gas is kept at constant pressure, volume increases as the temperature increases." The ideal gas law is stated as pV = nRT, where p is pressure, V is volume, T is temperature, n is the number of moles, and R is the ideal gas constant.
Another factor affecting the size of the balloon is heat transfer. Initial densities of solids, liquids, and gases display varying kinetic energy changes when heat is transferred to the system. These interrelationships are the basis for the student activity.
To print out the Student Copy only, click here.
Materials (per group)
The activity could also be done by putting the balloon into cold water and observing what happens. In this case use a similar data table and answer the same assessment questions.
Internet Research Topics
Use the Internet to answer the following questions:
A. Using vocabulary terms from the student questions, how does a helium research
B. How do the terms apply to the new ULDB (Ultra Long Duration Balloon) research balloon and its flight?
Students with Special Needs
All students should be able to participate in this activity.
Click here for further information on laboratories with students with special needs.
To print out a copy of observations questions only, click here.
Complete the following questions on a separate sheet of paper:
Which of the factors above had the greatest effect on the activity of the balloon?