Hovercraft

You have been exploring the types of forces that influence the movement of objects. In this activity, you and a family member can investigate how reducing friction allows objects to move much more easily.

Materials

A small board with a ballon attached.

Procedure

Ask an adult to help you cut a five-inch-square piece of cardboard. Next, punch a hole in the center of the cardboard piece. It must be the same size as the hole in the thread spool. Now glue the thread spool onto the cardboard so that the holes are lined up. Make sure that the base of the spool is completely sealed with glue. Glue paper over the top of the spool and then punch a hole in the middle of the paper to match the hole in the spool. Blow up the balloon and twist the end. Stretch the lip of the balloon over the spool and hold it. Ready? Let the balloon unwind and give your hovercraft a push. What happens?

Results

What is a force that resists motion of one surface across another surface? How did the hovercraft reduce friction? What did the reduced friction allow the hovercraft to do?