University of Virginia
Physics Department

Growing Balloons

A Physical Science Activity

Student Activity



  1. Blow up one balloon 3/4 full of air.
  2. Tie off the end.
  3. Gently mark areas: 1 near the tied end, 2 in the middle, and 3 at the far end.
  4. Record a PREDICTION in the data chart - Will the balloon expand evenly or unevenly? If you predict unevenly, which areas will show effects of temperature, volume, and pressure first? Last?
  5. Compare and discuss reasons for your predicitons.
  6. Hold the balloon at the tied end.
  7. Point the blow dryer 4 to 5 inches from the tied end.
  8. Turn the dryer on high heat and hold until changes are visible.
  9. Record your observations in the data sheet provided and complete the student questions at the end.