Mary Porter Green is Founder, President and Chief Curiosity Officer for Curiosity Zone, the award-winning hands-on science center for kids in located in Ashburn, Virginia (just outside Washington, D.C.) Through fun, familiar projects and activities, Curiosity Zone inspires kids ages 2 to 11 to explore, discover and learn about the world around them. Through teaching science to more than 60,000 young kids over the last five years, Curiosity Zone has developed a proprietary, proven curriculum with more than 160 engaging science labs designed to inspire young kids in science. The labs cover all of the major sciences, including chemistry, physics, life science, earth science, weather, and astronomy, as well as concepts in engineering and math. Curiosity Zone’s weekly classes, summer camps, birthday parties and workshops offer a smarter enrichment experience for twenty-first century kids, and its toy store is a wonderful resource for parents and teachers interested in inspiring young kids in science.
Wind Power Science Project - Rocket Pinwheel
Marry Porter from Curiosity Zone teaches you how to make a rocket pinwheel science project for kids.
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Mary Porter: Hi! I am Mary Porter from Curiosity Zone. We are doing simple science experiments for kids that demonstrate the principles of energy. Next, we are going to be creating what's called a rocket pinwheel. The materials you are going to need are a straw and it needs to be a bendy straw and the fatter the straw the better, because the more air is going to flow out of it. You need a balloon, you need some tape, you need a pencil with an eraser and you need a straight pin that you are going to stick into the eraser. So step one, is you want to attach your balloon to your straw. Make sure you attach it to the long end of the straw so when you bend it, it is going on the long end of the straw. You just stick it on the end like that and if you have a big fat balloon like I do, you are going to have to kind of wrap the end around a little and tape it in place. That will keep most of the air from escaping from around the edge of the balloon and will make sure that the air goes out the end of the straw which is what's going to make your rocket pinwheel spin. So I am going to take that on, nice and tight. Make sure you don't squish the straw though because the air still needs to be able to get out. Sometimes it takes a couple of layers of tape to get this on just right. Alright, that should be good. Now to test to make sure you have your seal the way it needs to be you can try blowing up your balloon through the straw. That works pretty well and if you have trouble blowing up your balloon through your straw because sometimes it is hard and then you want to just pull on the balloon a little bit to relax it and so it is a little bit easier to blow out. Okay, the next thing you are going to do and this is super, super, super simple as you are going attach your straw to the top of the pencil. So we are going to basically take the pin and go ahead and put it through the straw first and what you want is for the straw to be angled out sideways once it is attached. So put the straw down on the table with the bend going out sideways or towards you and then put the pin about two inches down form the balloon is just fine. Push it right through, right through like that and then you want to stick it into the top of your eraser.
Make sure it is nice and firm, put in as far as you can. And the push the straw up, so it is close to the top; make sure it spins. See, so it spins around. Make sure it is nice and spinny. Okay and the last thing you need to do is just blow up your balloon and blast off your rocket pinwheel. You are ready to go? Alright here we go. Now, what's going to happen is that the air is being pushed out from the balloon through the end of the straw and as that air comes rushing out of the end of the straw it is pushing against the air that's already all around it and it is making it spin around and around and around. And that's how you can power a rocket pinwheel using just air and a balloon. Here we go. Next, we are going to be working on a gasometer where we are going to actually do an acid base reaction that will blow up the balloon.