Floating Ball

Floating Ball

Ever think that levitation was simply a trick for the movies, or some far-off science fiction dream? Think again! With a little bit of science know-how, it's easy to levitate a small ball using only a straw, some paper and tape, and some good old-fashioned lung power. Follow along with these simple steps and you'll be levitating in no time, while learning some awesome science along the way!

Ages:
6 - 10
Est. Time:
<30 mins

How we did it:

Materials List

  1. bendy straw
  2. tape
  3. paper
  4. scissors
  5. tin foil
  6. construction paper (optional)
  7. googley eyes (optional)
  1. Cut a circle out of a piece of paper. Then cut a slit to the center of the circle.

  2. Roll the circle into a cone and tape it in place.

  3. Cut off the tip of the cone, just wide enough for the straw to fit through. Tape the straw in place.

  4. Cut off the tip of the cone, just wide enough for the straw to fit through. Tape the straw in place.

  5. If you'd like, decorate your cone to look like a monster!

  6. Take a piece of tinfoil and roll it into a small ball.

  7. Blow into the straw and carefully place the ball in the airstream. If you get the placement right, your ball should levitate and spin!


    Scientific explanation:
    This experiment is a great example of Bernoulli's principle in action. Bernoulli was an 18th century mathematician who proved that the faster a fluid (like water or air) moves, the lower the pressure it creates. When you blow into the straw, you are creating a column of fast moving, low-pressure air. Your tinfoil ball gets blown upwards, and then stays within the stream because the stationary air around it is at a higher pressure!