Now you have a blimp that spins
through the air. It's really simple to make more blimps and experiment with
changes in the basic blimp design. See if you can make a blimp that spins
faster or stays up for a longer time.
It's best if you make just one change at a time. Here are
some things you can try:
Make the paper strip longer or shorter.
Make the paper strip wider or narrower.
Make the tails longer or shorter.
Cut the ends of the tails so they're pointy.
Try using different kinds of paper.
You can also color your paper strip before you
fold it into a blimp. That
won't make it spin better,
but it's fun to watch patterns and colors spin through the air.
Learning to experiment
The Spinning Blimp is a great toy to experiment with. Change a little
something and see what happens. Your blimp probably flies fine-but maybe
a blimp with a shorter tail would spin even better. We've suggested some
ways to modify your blimp, but our suggestions are just the beginning. What
other modifications can you and your kids come up with?
While you're experimenting, it may look like you're just fooling around.
And you are fooling around-but you're also paying attention to what happens
when you change your blimp. By making changes and noticing what happens,
you're following in the footsteps of many scientists. Many scientific discoveries
have come about because someone was "just fooling around."
When you're fooling around, some of the things you try won't work very
well. Maybe you make a change in your Spinning Blimp and it takes a nosedive.
That's okay. In fact, that's great. You've learned something about what
doesn't work, which is important to know. And maybe sometime you'll want
to make a blimp that dives-and you'll know how.
Another part of fooling around scientifically is keeping track of your
results. What works well? What doesn't work at all? Keep track of experiments
that you try. If you come up with a new design that you like, tell us about
it. We'd like to try it, too!