When this occurred, the forced air would be weaker than the pull of gravity.
Today's lab explored Bernoulli's Principle, the principle that allows heavier-than-air objects like airplanes to fly. Bernoulli discovered that the faster air flows over an object, the less the air pushes on the surface of the object and so the lower the pressure. In this lab, gravity is pulling on the ball while the pressure from the forced air pushes up on the ball. The forces are balanced,so the ball hovers in the air. You can move the hair dryer from side to side, and the ball will stay hovering in mid-air until one of the forces is stronger than the other.
The students loved the lab and the learning was evident. We hope your young scientist shared their enthusiasm. Furthermore, if you are a student reading this post, we'd love it if you leave us a comment and tell us what you liked most about today's gravity lab.