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  • How many balloons does it take to lift a bear?


    How many helium balloons would it take to lift a polar bear?  How about a sun bear?  If you don’t know, ask the year 7 students who spent a day last term investigating this very question.  They used helium balloons to lift a small teddy bear, working out how many balloons were needed.

    Then with the mathematical ideas of ratio and proportion they used the information to calculate how many balloons would be needed to lift real bears of different species by researching the weights and comparing them to the weight of the teddy bear. 

    Being unsatisfied with using balloons to answer just one of life’s big questions, they also investigated if a year 7 pupil was able to pop balloons faster than the world record holding dog. 

    After watching a video of the dog popping 20 balloons they then calculated how long the dog would have taken to pop 100 balloons.  Then came the challenge, could they be faster? 

    Four students were selected for their athletic prowess, and timed to pop 10 balloons, and the students then estimated how long it would have taken them to pop 100. 

    Unfortunately, it seems that sharp claws make the job very much easier and the dog won hands down!


    Phoenix Academy

    Phoenix Academy, The Curve, Shepherds Bush, London, W12 0RQ
    Tel: 020 8749 1141