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The Science of Buoyancy and Frozen Yogurt

There was some helium left in the tank we got to fill balloons for Everett’s birthday, so we wanted to do some experiments to see just how much weight a balloon could lift.

The first step was to build a cargo container from a paper cup and attach it to the balloon. We slowly added salt to the cup until we found that exact weight where it didn’t sink or rise.

The cup and its cargo came in at 1/8 of an ounce. Everett figured that eight balloons should then be able to lift one ounce. Practical math!

We filled up eight balloons and headed down to the self-serve, pay-by-the-ounce frozen yogurt shop where we could put our one ounce of lift to profitable use.

His mix of yogurt and toppings came in at 5.1 ounces.

We attached the balloons and the scale dropped to 4 ounces. Our estimate was almost perfect! That’s a 43 cent savings! Do you think they’ll notice the balloons?

One thing Everett didn’t count on, though, was what happened when he ate enough to get his treat down to less than an ounce. Catch it!

Posted in Family.

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