A couple of days ago, we dusted off the potato cannon and conducted a few test blasts. As you can see in the video above, it worked. My father and I constructed the potato cannon a few summers ago with instructions from the book, Backyard Ballistics. It is made mostly of PVC pipe, with a flint sparker on the end. Last time we used an aersol hair spray as a propellant, and this year we used starter fluid.
The book has a lot of ideas of experiments to do that mostly involve explosions and gadgets. One of the boys favorite television programs is Mythbusters, and they love tinkering with experiments. We’ll continue to hone this one until we get the potato shooting out across the neighborhood. I made the “tennis ball mortar” with my science classes in Anaco to great success. They also had a homemade version of the fire paper lanterns that we had at our farewell party last month. I am also a pyromaniac and love blowing things up with the boys.
Owen said that someday he wants to be a scientist, soccer player, and a spy. He is not sure which one.