Design a Balloon Car
Use this low-prep unit to help your students use design thinking to create a balloon powered car!
Students will design, create a prototype, and conduct iterative testing to design and improve a balloon car. Students will consider constraints and criteria and will compare design solutions in the engineering challenge. The whole engineering process takes about 4 class periods.
Design a Balloon Car
Standards aligned with NGSS MS-ETS1-1, 1-2, 1-3, and 1-4.
You can be sure you’re covering the information that you need to with my standards-aligned units!
NGSS MS-ETS1-1: Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions
NGSS MS-ETS1-2: Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
NGSS MS-ETS1-3: Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.
NGSS MS-ETS1-4: Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.
Design a Balloon Car Using the Design Process
A variety of activities to keep your middle school science class engaged!
This resource includes a PowerPoint slideshow on the design process with strategic note-taking guide, detailed lesson plan, follow-up pages, photos, tips, and suggestions, as well as constraints, criteria, and iterative testing.
Engaging unit that really focuses on criteria and constraints. My students loved this activity and I loved that the design process is really emphasized.Peggy E.
This was an interesting STEM challenge that incorporated a lot of science! My students were definitely thinking and using engineering skills! Two thumbs up!Emily S.
Great resource. My students had a blast making their balloon cars and racing them. There really was a lot of science and engineering in this activity. Great job.Carissa B.
Other teachers LOVE this Balloon Car resource!
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