Science project

Popping Balloons

The purpose of this experiment is to see what happens to the surface of a balloon in the moment of its explosion.

Research Questions:

  • What types of scientists study explosions?
  • What does a good understanding of explosions help people understand?
  • Why is it important to know what happens to an exploding object?
  • What are explosions used for.

A balloon pops in the blink of an eye. It happens extremely quickly; too quickly to successfully observe. Using a camera to take photos of the popping while it is happening will allow the process to be observed. This can help people better understand what happens to the surface of a hollow object when it explodes. Though most of us don’t come into contact with exploding objects in our daily lives, understanding the properties of an explosion is an important part of a number of different fields. Explosions must be studied in order to set off pyrotechnics or to work with various types of weapons. 


  • Balloons
  • A needle
  • A tripod
  • A digital camera with an option to take multiple pictures while only pressing the shutter button once (most modern cameras have this option)
  • A friend to help

If you don’t have a camera of your own you can borrow one from a friend or relative.

Experimental Procedure:

  1. Set up a camera on a tripod.
  2. Face the camera towards a blank wall, about 10-15 feet away.
  3. Blow up a balloon with air from your lungs.
  4. Tie the end of the balloon off.
  5. Hold the balloon in front of the blank wall and have your friend confirm that it is in frame.
  6. Have your friend take pictures as you pop the balloon with a needle.
  7. Examine the surface of the balloon in the photographs you take.
  8. Repeat steps 3-7 with different types of balloons and balloons filled with different amounts of air.
  9. (optional) Repeat steps 3-6 with balloons filled with different gasses, such as helium from a party supply store, or even with water or shaving cream.

Type of paper

Number of folds

Construction 9x12


Construction 4x6


Printer 9x12


Printer 4x6


Tissue 9x12


Tissue 4x6



Terms/Concepts: Explosion; Pyrotechnics; Surface tension; Popping; Hollow

Disclaimer and Safety Precautions provides the Science Fair Project Ideas for informational purposes only. does not make any guarantee or representation regarding the Science Fair Project Ideas and is not responsible or liable for any loss or damage, directly or indirectly, caused by your use of such information. By accessing the Science Fair Project Ideas, you waive and renounce any claims against that arise thereof. In addition, your access to's website and Science Fair Project Ideas is covered by's Privacy Policy and site Terms of Use, which include limitations on's liability.

Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For further information, consult your state's handbook of Science Safety.

Add to collection

Create new collection

Create new collection

New Collection


New Collection>

0 items