the hover craft

I have one son who is always looking for interesting science experiments to do. He is a voracious reader and wants to grow up to be one of those guys from the Myth Busters. He is interested in all things science.

He recently found a science experiment he wanted to do. It was an easy one and we had all the neccesary materials. (that has to be a first for an unplanned experiment)

But as he read me the directions and what the experiment was supposed to “show”, I knew it wasn’t going to live up to his expectations. I knew it and I tried to gently tell him that the experiment might not be all that is was cracked up to be in the book.

The project was to build a hover craft using a 12″ diameter circle of cardboard, a soda bottle cap, and a balloon.

1) You poke a hole through the center of the bottle cap,

2) poke another hole through the center of the carboard circle,

3) glue the bottle cap onto the cardboard so that the holes are aligned.

(Glue takes a really really long time to dry by the way. A really long time. Go take a nap, eat a snack, and come back next week)

4) After the glue dries, blow up the balloon and put it on the bottle cap.

5) Then you are supposed to gently push the cardboard across the floor, where the force of the air will make the cardboard “hover” over the ground.

Think a very low tech air hockey table.

Well it worked the way it was supposed to, which is to say, not that great. He thought it would actually hover off the ground enough for us to see daylight underneath it, like a flying saucer.

Of course I had explained to him before we did the experiment what it would probably be like, but he still had high expectations. Doesn’t he just look thrilled in the photo?

Luckily most of the experiments he choses to do work out better for him than this one. It was still fun though.

Oh and on a somewhat related note, it is never a good thing to hear your 3yr old in the other room, saying out loud to no one in particular, “This is why little kids are not allowed to use glue.”

One Response to “the hover craft”

  1. Novaks8 Says:

    I remember that post.

    LOVE the look on his face.

    And isn’t it a good lesson? That things aren’t always Hollywood fantastic?