Science Magic : Leak Proof Bag Experiment
I recently bet my son he could put a needle right through a balloon without popping. He laughed, smiled and replied “NO YOU CAN’T!” So I let him try it…
Behold, the magic of polymers!
To prove the power of polymers to my son, Ryan, we set up two experiments.
Leak Proof Bag Experiment
- Sharpened Pencils
- Zip-Loc Bags
- This experiment works best over a sink or large bucket.
- Fill a Zip-Loc bag about ¾ full with water.
- Take a sharpened pencil and poke it gently through the bag.
- Slowly push the pencil through the bag until the point comes out the other side.
- Repeat this with as many pencils as desired!
- Here comes the messy part! When you’re all finished, simply remove the pencils from the bag. Water, water everywhere! Make sure you do this part over a sink.
- Discard of the plastic bags as necessary… they probably won’t be good for anything anymore
Leak Proof Balloon
- Piece of Scotch tape
- Start by blowing up a balloon.
- Once the balloon is blown up and tied, secure a piece of Scotch tape on the surface of the balloon.
- Once the piece of tape is stuck to the balloon, you can then poke the needle into the balloon where the area of tape is. Please be careful and make sure an adult is helping!
- Ta-Dah! You now have a balloon with a NEEDLE in it! Amazing, right?
- Gently pull the needle out of the balloon.
- If you’re daring, maybe you’d like to try to put the needle into the balloon without the tape?
- How does all this work?
“What’s all this polymer stuff?” my son asked. Well, it’s super fun science! Everything around us is made of molecules…. little, teeny-tiny particles of matter. When the molecules comes together in a strand, they’re called polymers. Think of it like a bunch of little guys holding hands.
When something passes through the polymers (like the pencil or needle), it doesn’t break the little guys apart, they simply move to let the object pass through; thereafter, creating a seal… like an air tight hug! Gosh, I never knew science could be so friendly!
My son is 5 and didn’t completely understand everything I was explaining, but that’s OK! Visually, he learned through the experiment and while he can’t recite the definitions of molecules or polymers, at least he’s introduced to the words.
To follow up with the activity, we experimented with different bags and types of plastic. For example, we tried putting a pencil through a plastic grocery bag and one through a balloon. We also tried putting a needle through the Zip-Loc bag. We even tried a paper bag! The whole experiment was a lot of fun… and a lot of mess! Those are the best kind though, aren’t they?
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