4 Replies Latest reply on Nov 18, 2010 8:07 PM by glen_w

    Water Balloon Fight leads to questions


      I can't even guess HOW many water balloons I've used in the past. Many have been thrown in fun and games during different events. This concept went to a new level in Utah this past summer as 4,000 people were involved in a water fight using 120,000 water balloons.



      I wondered what happens as a water balloon breaks. I was thrilled to find a slow-motion video showing the actual popping of a water balloon with a pin.



      My plan is to show the first (water balloon fight) video to my Middle School Science class and ask them to predict what happens when a water pops. We will probably generate quite a list of possible outcomes. I then will show the second video and pause it just as they show the high speed camera. Again, we will discuss what possible results might happen if the popping happens in slow motion. I will then restart the second video and play it through to the end. The class will then discuss evidence obtained from the video that supports or rejects their previous claims. If I can find a fairly good but inexpensive High Speed camera (right) I would then continue by inviting students to design a similar experiment to record and look at in slow motion.


      While my GoPro camera is awesome and totally waterproof, it only does 60 frames/second, I don't think that is enough frames to do an activity like this! I am looking for recommendations on an inexpensive camera that might work for this kind of a project?


      What other subject areas do you see this kind of an activity being useful for? How can this engage your students? How can this help our students think more critically?

        • Re: Water Balloon Fight leads to questions

          First, I would like to say , I like the concept to get the students involved and motivated to study these concepts. I have always been a high school science instructor, however , I can see how this could transfer into the art class by using the slow motion camera. I can see many uses of this concept and these videos in the classroom.

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          • Re: Water Balloon Fight leads to questions
            Bonnie Feather

            Cool!  I've seen some of these ultraslow videos on TV shows (like Myth Busters) but never thought to look for them on the web.  (silly me!)


            I wonder if the kids asked themselves why the water balloons were stored in tubs of water before the fight, or if they thought it was just because some had burst!  Sounds like a lesson in pressure and equalization to me!



              • Re: Water Balloon Fight leads to questions

                I do not have cable at home and we lost our "cable in the classroom" this year. (Don't ask ... it's not a good story.)


                If you want to watch some fun ultraslow motion videos, I highly recommend the Discovery Channel Video Podcasts. I found there are 16 Time Warp videos podcasts available for download. My personal favorite is the Time Warp: Blender. The manufacturer of that blender is in my city . My students love the ending of that video podcast when a test of "lighters" is done. Yes, you can probably guess what the result it! I must remind them "DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!"


                I'm still trying to find an inexpensive high-speed camera I can use in my classroom to recreate similar slow-motion videos. I can see how this kind of video might help remove some of the misconceptions students have.