Science students build balloon cars



Students in Deborah Johnson’s class put together their balloon car. The cars were built to test energy.

Kaylen Sanchez and Yuliet Gonzalez

Students in science teacher Deborah Johnson’s class experimented with speed recently, working to build a balloon bottle car experiment that tested speed.

Students had supplies like straws, plastic bottles, wheels and balloons. They tied their string from one side of the room to the other creating a zipline and created a balloon car to travel the length of it, timing their results.

“I learned that the car has more potential energy on a steeper line,” sophomore Natanael Montano said. “I also figured out that everything needs to be just right, because my car ended up not moving because we put the paper clip on wrong and it ended up being twisted.”

The students who did get their cars to zip down the string compared times to see who created the quickest car.

“Joe and Cris did the best,” sophomore Kirstyn Dennix said. “Their car was definitely the fastest.”

Dennix was not as pleased with her own project with junior Romeo Meza.

“I think me and Romeo’s project didn’t go as planned because our car balloon didn’t hold up the way it was supposed to,” Dennix said. “It didn’t go how we had planned.”

Dennix and Meza made their car by placing a straw through a water bottle. They taped the balloon on at the tip and put four wheels underneath. Their car kept falling from the string onto the floor despite multiple attempts to correct the flaw. Even the projects that didn’t work helped the students learn, though.

“The students were really excited and motivated to do something fun,” teacher Chuy Rodriguez said. “They enjoyed learning while doing hands-on things.”