Balloon and Pin Experiment (Air Pressure Experiment for Kids)

Let's understand why a balloon pressed on stack of pins doesn't pop and when it pressed on a single pin pops immediately. Let's understand the magic of distributed pressure.

Here is an interesting experiment that shows you can make an unpoppable balloon.

A sharp object is a bad friend to an inflated balloon because it lets the balloon pop upon contact! But a pack of the same sharp object becomes a great friend to the same balloon.

Are you interested in learning about what the magical science around balloons and pins? Lets dive in.

Balloon and Pin Experiment

Balloon Air Pressure Experiment

Materials Required

As I already mentioned, this is a very simple and easy experiment, and it just needs two supplies around your home. I.e.

1) A Balloon (Keep some extra balloons handy)

2) A pack of thumbstack

Things we need

Simple Step by Step Directions

Inflate a balloon: Pick a balloon, inflate it and keep it aside for a moment. Now, keep a single thumbstack over your experiment table but make sure the sharp end is towards you i.e., upwards, and the blunt end towards the downside.

What happens when you touch the thumbstack with your balloon?

Balloon on single pin

Then, bring your inflated balloon over the sharp end of the pushpin. As we all expected, the balloon pops out soon after it comes in contact with the pin.

What happens when you put lots of thumbtacks?

  1. As a next step, pick a handful of thumbstacks and place them over the flat surface of the experiment table.
  2. Arrange them in horizontal lines by maintaining the same distance in between the pins.
  3. Do not forget to place them in inverse position, i.e., sharp end side upwards.
Balloon on pins

Tip: Arrange the pins as close as possible to each other.

Testing balloon with group of thumbtacks : In this step, pick another balloon and inflate it! Now bring the inflated balloon over the group of pushpins arrangement slowly and without disturbing the arrangement of push pins. Again, make sure you are giving the same force that applied while experimenting with a single pushpin.

Results: Observe the outcome of the activity! Does your inflated balloon pop out? If everything goes well, your inflated balloons will not pop out when brought over several pins.

Were you surprised to see your inflated balloon stay still inflated even after contacting a group of sharp objects? Well, continue reading to learn the magical science behind this super cool and fun activity.

The Science Behind the Balloon and Pin Experiment

When we used a single push pin, there is a lot of pressure on the balloon’s surface only at one point i.e., the point of contact between the balloon and the sharp end. And the reason the inflated balloon pops out is more pressure concentrating on the smaller area over the balloon.

In the second trial of the experiment, when the pins are grouped and arranged in a cluster form, the pressure distributes among all the pins and along the larger surface of the balloon skin.

Lets say instead of 1 thumbstack if we arranged 20 pins – then the pressure of 1 pin is now distributed among the entire 20 so the single pins pressure is reduced by 20 times.

Since the pressure distributes differently among the pins, it is not enough to pierce the balloon’s skin. And hence, the balloon is unpoppable and stays inflated!

Person on Nail Bed - Distribution of weight

Ever wondered how some magicians are able to walk on nail slippers or sleep on nail beds? This is the same principle.

Are you interested in more balloon activities for kids:

Fireproof Balloon Experiment

Make a Balloon Hovercraft

Put a Skewer in Balloon without popping it

Insert a needle in balloon without popping it

Balloon And Pin Air Pressure Experiment For Kids

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