This is quick post on my experience at the holiday Scilab camp at office today. Yesterday, I was demonstrating concepts of Newton’s laws, air pressure and the Joule-Thomson effect with balloons. At the end of the session, a couple of them (10 year olds) approached me and asked me if there is anything more that can be done with the balloons. I gave them each a couple of balloons and asked them to discover it for themselves.
This morning, both of them came to the camp and reported their results to me. One of them had blown the balloon till it exploded. When I asked him as to what he learned, he told me that he was able to understand that the rubber balloon had a certain amount of strength and the excess amount of air pushed it beyond its limits causing it to burst. He has just discovered the phenomenon of tensile strength for himself! The other told me that he had tried filling the balloon with water and placing it in a bucket of water. He said that he was surprised to see the balloon bobbing upon the surface of water. He has just discovered the phenomenon of buoyancy for himself!
Their observations were remarkable and following a round of applause, we spent the next 20 minutes discussing their results. It will be quite hard for them to forget the concepts which they have discovered for themselves.
This is a cross post from my blog.