Science with Shields: Episode #73 – Balloon Skewer

Science with Shields

ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — In this episode of Science with Shields, Christy Shields shows you how to stick a skewer through a balloon without popping it!

What you need: 

  1. Balloons
  2. Wooden skewer
  3. Vegetable oil


First, blow up your balloon. Next, coat the wooden skewer with vegetable oil. You will now want to take the skewer and in a screwdriver motion, stick it into the balloon near where you tied it up. Once the skewer is through, find the top of the balloon and using the same screwdriver motion, put the skewer through the top of the balloon. It may take a few tries to get it to work.

Next, you can find the stress of the balloon with a marker. Before you blow the balloon up, put little dots on the balloon. Notice when you blow the balloon up, some of the dots stretch out. You would not want to try to poke the skewer through the stretched dots, because there is a lot of stress and the balloon would pop.


Rubber is made up of polymers making it have elasticity.  This allows you to stick the skewer through the balloon. You find the area where there is the least amount of stretch or tension, and so instead of popping the balloon, it goes right through!

Check out more Science with Shields episodes on WTAJ Plus.

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