**Throw a Balloon**

Set Up

Gather the materials listed below. Place all materials on a table. Mark a starting point on the floor with tape. Beyond the starting point should be a minimum of fifteen feet of clear space. Read the list of construction materials and the team instructions out loud to the team.

Construction Materials

5 un-inflated balloons
1 rubber eraser
5 drinking straws
10 mailing labels
5 paper clips
1 paper plate

Team Instructions

Using the materials provided, devise a method to move a balloon as far as possible from the starting point. You have five minutes to come up with a plan and test it. You will be notified when you have one minute remaining. At the end of the building time, you will have three opportunities to launch a balloon for distance. After each launch, you must decide if you want to have the distance measured or try again for a longer distance. You will receive up to ten points each for creativity, communication and cooperation. You will also receive one bonus point for every foot of distance the balloon travels.

Have Fun!


Geoff said...

Could you please give me a few examples of how groups used the provided materials to make their balloons go farther? Also, I assume that the groups were allowed to blow up the balloons?

Kris said...

In answer to your question about whether or not the balloons can be blown up, as I say in Team Challenges, "if it doesn't say you can't do something, then you can."

As for how teams might solve the problem, I think you'll be surprised at what teams come up with. The paper plate opens options for frisbee style solutions, the rubber eraser can become a weight, etc.

A couple of years ago I presented two teams with the challenge of creating a "flying device" that they were to send through a hula hoop as many times as possible. Materials were varied, as in this challenge, but included a paper lunch sack. One team spent all of their allotted time building an elaborate contraption. The second team came along and decided that their best bet was to cram all of the materials into the sack and pitch it like a ball. Their solution wasn't elaborate, but it worked amazingly well and it made me laugh.