Diffusion Through Balloons
Angela Patrick Crown Community Academy
Dorian Price Horatio May Academy
Elizabeth Abioro Delano Elementary School
To demonstrate the diffusion of gas molecules.
For teacher demonstration: Per student group:
Blown-up balloons 8 unblown balloons
overhead (optional) 8 small plastic cups
transparency of 8 large plastic cups
data sheet (optional) 8 eye droppers
prediction chart data sheets
Items to test:
vanilla, coffee, milk, flour, sugar, lemon juice, vinegar, perfume.
Read the following poem to the students: Balloons, Balloons, Balloons!
Everybody just loves balloons! Balloons can take you up, high above the sky!
A big, big hot air balloon floating through the air. Up and down, in and
out, all without a care! (A short story about balloons may be substituted.)
After the poem, throw out some balloons to the students. Have them describe the
balloons. Write what they say on the overhead. Ask: "What kind of matter is
it?" (This question assumes that the students have already had some knowledge
about matter, solids, liquids, gases.) They will say that the balloon is a
solid. Ask: "Do you think anything can go through a solid material?" On the
prediction chart, record how many students said "yes" and "no".
Hypothesis: A substance can go through a solid. Tell the students that they
will experiment to find out whether or not a substance can go through a solid
such as a balloon.
1. Apply two droppers of substances in the balloon.
2. Blow up the balloon and tie it.
3. Place balloon on cup and let it sit there for ten minutes.
4. After ten minutes smell the cup. Did the scent go into the cup?
5. Complete the data sheet.
Note: Set up a data sheet with four columns with the following headings:
1) Which scents went through the balloon?
2) Which scents did not go through the balloon?
3) Why do you think this happened?
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