Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Air Play!

Please Touch Museum is excited to announce a new addition to our Flight Fantasy exhibit! In this new activity, kids can explore the properties of airflow, using several Bernoulli Blowers and balls of different sizes, weights, and densities. While it may appear that the balls are hovering magically in the air, there are some very complex scientific principles at work. The balls are actually floating on concentrated air streams, which are generated by large fans and projected through flexible tubing. What do you think will happen if you change the direction of the air stream? Will the ball still float above it? What happens when you try to pull the ball out of the air stream? Do balls of different sizes and kinds float differently?

The new exhibit is based on the discoveries of a Dutch mathematician named Daniel Bernoulli. Bernoulli made many valuable contributions to the fields of fluid mechanics, probability, and statistics in the 18th century. One of his discoveries, named the Bernoulli Principle in his honor, exerts profound influence on the study of aerodynamics. You can see the implications of Bernoulli’s calculations about the movement of air in everything from a curveball to airplane design!

There are many different ways you can explore the properties of air and wind on your own at home. You can make your own air blower out of a 2 liter bottle, or make a windsock from an old t-shirt. You can even study basic aerodynamic principles by making a paper airplane.

Be on the lookout for even more brand new exhibits in the Flight Fantasy area, coming soon!


  1. Fantastic blog post

  2. That looks like fun! I can't wait to come and play.


We're all about learning through play.

Join Pinky, one of Please Touch Museum's resident puppets, on an inside look into all the fun, educational things happening at Philly's Children's Museum. This blog is not just about what we do at the museum, but about the educational philosophy behind why we do what we do.