Learning Experience 12: Gases



For each student:

Student Activity Sheet for Learning Experience 12 (Please see PDF)

For the class:

Clear plastic ziplock bag

30 balloons

Can of helium gas

Balance stand

Pin for balance

2 baskets for balance

Balance base

Balance arm

Modeling clay



Read the background information in the Properties Teacher’s Manual. (Please see PDF) Assemble the double pan balance. Use a small piece of modeling clay on one end of the balance arm if needed to balance the double pan balance. Fill half the balloons with air and fill the other half with helium gas prior to class without the students knowing. Before filling the balloon with helium, blow it up with lung air to stretch it. Let the air out and then fill with helium.

Basic Skills Development:








Evaluation Strategy:

Show the students a balloon filled with either air or helium. Ask them to tell you how they could find out what is in the balloon.








Objective: Students will investigate properties of air and helium.

Can something you can’t see have properties?

Demonstrate to students the properties of air by filling a clear plastic ziplock bag with air using a straw.

Randomly distribute the balloons you have previously inflated with helium and those inflated with air to the students. Have the students release the balloons at the same time. Ask them to observe what happens to the balloons. Students will record their observations on the activity sheet for Learning Experience #12 in the Properties Student Activity Book. (Please see PDF)

Discussion Questions:

What happened to some of the balloons that did not happen to the other balloons?

What was in the balloon?

What was in the plastic ziplock bag?

How do you know?

How is helium the same as air?

How is helium different than air?

Is a gas an object?

Place a balloon with air and one with helium on the double pan balance. Observe which balloon is heavier. Have students label the balloon that has the helium and air on the activity sheet for Learning Experience #12 in the Properties Student Activity Book. (Please see PDF)

For the accompanying Properties Student Activity Book, please refer to the PDF found here. (Please see PDF)

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