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Science Lab Experiment: Air Hockey

Demonstration: Reducing Friction

Object: To determine one method for reducing the force of friction.

Materials: empty wooden thread spool, balloon, smooth wood tile, glue


Method: The empty wooden spool was glued to the wooden tile. A balloon was placed over the spool and filled with air by blowing thorough the opening in the tile. The device was then allowed to travel over the surface of a table. Its movement was compared to that of a tile with no balloon attached.

Observations: The air was released slowly from the balloon as the tile moved across the table. It was noticed that little force was needed to start and to keep the tile in motion. More force was needed for the apparatus without the balloon.

Conclusions: It was concluded that the air forcing out of the balloon formed a cushion under the tile, which lifted it slightly above the surface of he table, thus reducing the effect of friction.