To demonstrate the scientific principles behind the Bed of Nails, we’ve developed our own miniature version. The Bed of Nails kit looks and performs just like its big brother, but without all the size. Using the experiments found in the activity guide, try to pop one of the 11″ balloons included in the kit. You’ll be surprised at just how hard it can be. When you’re done with the sturdy wooden Bed of Nails, it’s extremely simple to break down and store safely. That means that you don’t have to worry about sharp objects being out in the open.
- Wooden base
- “Floating” wooden board
- Two 8.5″ wooden rods
- 105 nails
- 20 – 11″ balloons
How Does It Work?
The Bed of Nails kit and its balloon popping, mind bending experiments work using scientific principles of surface area and pressure. By varying the number of nails and/or the air inside the balloon, the amount of pressure needed to puncture the balloon will change.
What Does It Teach?
Bed of Nails is a fantastic demonstration of how surface area and pressure are related and how the amount of force needed to pop the balloon varies. For younger children, it’s also a great way to show them that an initial hypothesis (that the balloon will pop easily because of the sharp nails) is not always correct.
Science Fair Connection:
Sure, the Bed of Nails kit is a great way to demonstrate surface area, pressure, and more. (Who doesn’t like the moment the balloon goes POP!?!) While it’s a great demonstration, the Bed of Nails needs to have a variable, or a factor that can be changed, before it makes a great science fair project. We give you a great example right in your activity guide:
- Try testing how many nails, or what patterns, you need to prevent a balloon from popping. Find a way to measure the different amounts of pressure needed to pop the balloon.
That’s just one example of a variable that you could test, but don’t let us hold you back. If you can think of other variables, give them a try. Just remember, while you change a variable for every experiment, make sure to keep all the other factors in your experiment the same.