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Bubble Wrap Test: What Kind Provides the Most Protection?

based on 33 ratings
Author: Sofia PC

Grade Level: 4th-6th; Type: Physics

Objective:

To discover what bubble wrap shape work best in cushioning impact.

Research Questions:

Popping the bubbles in bubble wrap is always satisfying. But have you ever noticed that some of the bubbles are small and some are large, and some are square and some are round? Have you ever wondered if the shape of the bubbles makes a difference in protecting the things they wrap? Let's find out.

Materials:

  • Standard bubble wrap with small circles
  • Oversized bubble wrap with large circles
  • Square bubble wrap
  • A dozen eggs
  • High stool, balcony, or similar elevated platform
  • Masking tape

Experimental Procedure:

  1. Wrap each kind of bubble wrap over one egg and tape it securely, so that the bubble wrap completely encases the egg.
  2. Go to a high place and drop the eggs down without using any force. Just drop it.
  3. Observe the effect of the drop on each egg.
  4. Repeat the procedure three times for accurate results.
  5. Record your results. What type of bubble wrap did the best job of protecting the eggs?

Suggested Chart

 

Trial 1
Trial 2
Trial 3
Notes

Standard Bubble Wrap

 

 

 

 

Oversized Bubble Wrap

 

 

 

 

Square Bubble Wrap

 

 

 

 

 

Terms/Concepts: Impact; collision; mechanics; force

References:

Wikipedia's "Impact (mechanics)" page

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