This experiment will take 3 minutes to set-up and will likely result in numerous giggles from the kids. I find that it’s often the simplest experiments that cause the most enjoyment.
In this experiment it’s fun to watch the ping pong balls move in the air and if you’re not careful they will eventually fall to the ground. Enjoy!
Please note that the air from the hair dryer can get hot, so as with ever experiment use caution when performing them.
Watch The Floating Ping Pong Ball Video
- Hair Dryer
- Ping Pong Balls
Floating Ping Pong Ball Experiment Instructions
Step 1 – Take a hair dryer and point it up towards the ceiling and turn it on high speed.
Tip from Danielle: Always use caution when using the dryer because the blowing air can get hot. If possible, use the cold air setting on the hair dryer.
Step 2 – Place a ping pong ball in the blowing air of the hair dryer and watch it float
Step 3 – See if you can get two ping pong balls to float at the same time. What about three? Do you think you could get a baseball to float? What about a balloon? There are so many different objects and observations you can make.
How Does the Experiment Work?
Some of the fast moving air from the hair dryer goes around the outside of the ball quickly, while some of the fast moving air from the hair dryer hits the bottom of the ball and slows down. The slow moving air creates an area of high pressure directly under the ball. The high pressure air pushes up against the gravity that is pulling the ball down. This causes the ball to float in mid-air.
More Fun to be Had
Enhance the learning and the fun but attempting to make other objects float. Can you get multiple ping pong balls to float at the same time? Do you think you could get a baseball to float? What about a balloon? There are so many different objects and observations you can make.
I hope you enjoyed the experiment. Here’s some printable instructions.