- Easier - Balloons
are small, often brightly colored, thin rubber bags
that rise and float when they are filled with air
or some other light gas. These small balloons are
blown up and used as toys or as a decoration. Much
larger hot air or other lighter-than-regular-air
balloons are used as aircraft. They often have a
basket that carry passengers and other loads into
- Harder - A balloon
is a bag filled with heated air or a light gas
causing it to rise and float in the air. A balloon
ascends because the heated air or gas inside is
lighter and less dense than the surrounding air.
Balloons are made in a variety of sizes, shapes,
and designs. In addition to their use as children's
toys and party decorations, balloons and have other
uses. Scientists use balloons to carry instruments
into the atmosphere to gather information about the
- Balloons can be captive, free-floating, or
powered. Powered balloons are called airships or
blimps. The airship has an engine and propellers to
power it, plus a rudder and instruments that enable
the pilot to steer it. A free-floating balloon
travels wherever it is blown by the wind. The
balloon pilot can control the vertical movement of
a piloted, free-floating balloon but cannot steer
it. However, the pilot can control the course of a
balloon flight to some degree by rising or
descending into a layer of wind that is blowing in
the desired direction. Some large-size piloted
balloons are used by people in the sport of
ballooning. Such balloons have a basket attached
beneath the bag to carry a pilot and passengers.
Piloted balloons are also used for scientific
research. Captive balloons are anchored to the
ground by a cable. Captive or tethered balloons are
often used in advertising displays, but sometimes
are employed to relay radio and television programs
to remote areas.
- This site is a comprehensive collection of
toy and decorative balloon information.
Race Around the World at PBS Nova
- At this site, you can explore the science of
- Related Website:
- 2) SoloSpirit: Round the World Solo Balloon
Why Are Balloons Stretchy? from Newton's
- Why are balloons stretchy? What are balloons
made of? How do they hold air? What are they
used for? This presentation includes insights,
connections, key words, resources, and a main
activity on balloons
Hot Air Balloons Work by T. Harris at
- If you actually need to get somewhere, a hot
air balloon is a fairly impractical vehicle. You
can't really steer it, and it only travels as
fast as the wind blows. But if you simply want
to enjoy the experience of flying, there's
nothing quite like it.
- Other Balloon Pages at
- 2) Hot Air Balloon Going to Mars http://www.howstuffworks.com/news-item202.htm
- 3) How Helium Balloons Work by M. Brain
- 4) 'How Many Regular-sized helium-filled
Balloons Would It Take to Lift Someone?'
- 5) 'What Causes Helium Balloons to Lose
Their Lift After A Day or Two?' http://www.howstuffworks.com/question10.htm
- 6) 'Would A Balloon Filled with Vacuum
Instead of Helium Float?'
- After visiting several of the websites
for balloons, complete one or more of
these related projects:
- Make Your Own Balloon
Creations. You will find some online
help including directions from Kids
Stuff with Magical Balloon-dude Dale
and Professor Wonder's Balloon
- Complete A Balloon WebQuest.
Follow or adapt the procedures found at
the following webQuest sites:
- 1) Take Your Balloon Team Around
the World! by S. Anielski (Grade
- 2) Up, Up, and Away by N. Piwko
- Draw A Hot Air Balloon.
Watching a hot air balloon travel across
the sky is an exciting experience! The
bright colors against the blue sky are
usually striking. Draw and color your own
hot air balloons. Create a unique design
pattern. Display your creation.
- Create A 3-D Balloon Model.
Start with a inflated balloon. Then use
one of the following procedures (Ideas
Explorium) to cover and create
- (A) Papier-mâché: use
newspaper strips with flour and water
paste to cover the inflated balloon.
Let dry and paint.
- (B) Stained-glass balloon: Start
with a white or clear balloon. First
cover it with several layers of white
tissue paper. This prevents the color
of the balloon from showing through.
Cut colored tissue paper into 1 to 2
inch wide strips. Use diluted (water)
glue to attach the strips of tissue
over your balloon. Vary the colors,
overlap edges haphazardly, or you may
want to create a pattern. Using a
variety of paper colors will give a
stained glass appearance. Apply several
layers of tissue paper. Hint: Tissue
paper colors will bleed. Be prepared -
cover work surface and clothes. Let
- (C) String art balloon: Dip 2 or 3
foot lengths of string or thread into
starch and place over your inflated
balloon. Let dry. When string is dry,
- (D) Cloth scraps balloon: Collect
old sheet scraps or cotton fabric
scraps. Cut in 1 to 2 inches wide or in
squares. Dip fabric in liquid starch
and cover the balloon. Let dry and pop
- Construct or find a small basket to
use as your balloon gondola. Hang or
fasten the basket underneath your balloon.
Attach a hook, string or fishing line and
hang your balloon.
- Create A List of Balloon Safety
Rules. Hot air ballooning is an
exciting sport. However, the activity does
include a number of potential hazards.
Using information found at several of the
websites, create a list of safety rules or
guidelines for ballooning.
- Website By Kids For Kids
Landings (1999 Internet Challenge)
- This is a website about balloons and
- More Balloon Websites
International Balloon Fiesta
- Follow this yearly gathering of hot air
balloons. The site includes ballooning facts,
photos, and live images from the balloons.
History from ReMax
- This brief article summarizes over two
centuries of ballooning and aeronautic
- Other Balloon History Sites:
- 2) Balloons: (1700-1900) http://www.allstar.fiu.edu/aerojava/balloon2.htm
- 3) Early Hot Air Ballooning in Australia
- 4) Hot Air Ballooning History from the
Arizona Balloon Club
- 5) Short History of Hot Air Ballooning from
- This online site for hot air ballooning
contains a few articles and links to related
- Read an abbreviated history of hot air
ballooning and learn about how the balloon is
As A Science Project by T. Hamilton
- This report is designed to answer a number
of frequently asked questions about ballooning,
provide some additional resources for
information, ask some thought provoking
questions, and otherwise supply some ideas.
- Alternative Location: http://airsports.fai.org/apr2001/apr200011.html
- This is the official site from the first
team to make it all the way around the world in
a hot air balloon.
- Related Websites:
- 2) Orbiterballoon http://www.orbiterballoon.com/
- 3) Team RE/MAX Balloon http://www.remax.com/sports/ballooning/index.html
- 4) Virgin Global Challenger http://www.challenger.virgin.net/
- This site was created to assist balloonists
and those interested in becoming involved in the
sport of hot air ballooning.
Scientific Balloon Program
- Balloons offer a low-cost, quick-response
method for doing scientific investigations.
- Related Webpage:
- 2) Scientific Balloons from NASA
and Chana's Wonderful World of Balloons
- Here you can learn about different types of
balloons, how to properly use helium, balloon
decorations, and balloon popping games.
Wide Web Balloon Pages by J. de Wilde
- This is a large links-site for sites related
- Another Balloon Links-Site:
- 2) Ballooning Links http://www.ballooning.org/ballooning/balloon-links.html
- Websites For Teachers
- This site provides an introduction to the
basic principles of buoyancy, properties of
gases, temperature, and the technology involved
in hot air ballooning.
Activity (Grades 9-12)
- This activity will present students with a
problem in which they have a given set of
materials to construct a device that will
transport a passenger (clothes pin) the greatest
distance along a string.
Fun (Pre-school to Grade 1)
- Here are some ideas for fun balloon
activities for young learners.
- Related Websites:
- 2) Balloon Activity http://www9.chatham.k12.nc.us/cyberPE/balloonactsh.html
- 3) Ballooning Activities for your
- 4) For the Classroom from NASA
at ReMax Balloon
- This K-12 curriculum was originally prepared
in conjunction with the December 1998-January
1999 Global Balloon Mission, the only
round-the-world balloon attempt planned for
flight in the stratosphere.
Materials at Solo Spirit
- Solo Spirit is an incredible adventure, but
it is also a educational opportunity.
in Smoke -- Investigating Hot Air Balloons
by L. Claud at Educator's Cheapbook
- This activity plan has students building and
flying their own hot air balloons.
- Related Lesson Plans:
- 2) Building and Flying Paper Hot Air
Balloons by B. Queen http://www.cadvision.com/castle/balloons.htm
- 3) Hot Air Balloon
- 4) Hot Air Balloon Activity
- 5) Hot Air Balloon Laboratory from
- 6) Hot Air Balloons http://www.kyrene.k12.az.us/itech/kmsitech/hotairb.htm
- 7) Hot Air Balloons http://www.aimsedu.org/Activities/oldSamples/Balloon/balloon1.html
- 8) Hot Air Tissue Paper Balloon (Grades
4-12) by R. Kramer
- 9) Paper Takes Flight - Making Tissue Paper
- 10) Tissue Paper Balloons at Balloon
Is the Kissing Balloon? (Grades 3-8)
- Use this balloon activity to teach about
static electricity, attraction, repulsion,
transfer of electrons, and induction.
- Created by