Balloon Powered Dragster

A lesson about forces and motion where students design their own balloon powered dragster

   Watch Promo

**This lesson is part of The PrintLab Classroom lesson portal. To view details or to get access to the full portal, CLICK HERE**


In this 5 lesson project, students will begin by learning about forces, motion and Newton's Third Law. Using this knowledge, students will embark on a creative journey to design and 3D print their own functional, balloon powered dragster! Their aim is to create a vehicle that can travel as far as possible in a straight line and in the final lesson, they will compete against each other using their own unique dragsters. Enrolling in the lesson will give you complete access to the teacher training material and lesson documents. This includes content to help you prepare and deliver the lessons along with design tutorials so you become familiar with the process prior to teaching it in the classroom.

Subject Areas

The lesson can be incorporated into the study of physics, maths, computing and design technology and can be adapted for ages 8-16. The curriculum is aligned to NGSS, CCSS and UK National Curriculum standards. A comprehensive list of standards met is included in the lesson platform.

Learning Criteria

In this project students will:
- understand the principles of Newton's Third Law
- develop an understanding of forces including air resistance, friction, thrust and gravity
- understand and explore mechanical concepts of wheels and axles
- use their knowledge of forces and wheels to design a balloon powered dragster using CAD software and 3D printing
- analyse the performance of their balloon powered dragster by measuring the distance it can travel

Equipment List

Each student will require:
1 x laptop/computer with mouse and internet access
1 x pen/pencil
1 x balloon
The teacher will require:
1 x large format screen
1 x 3D printer and PLA filament (http://weareprintlab.com/products)
1 x laptop/computer with mouse, internet access and slicing software (or Polar Cloud) for the 3D printer
1 x demonstration dragster (STL provided in lesson plan materials)
1 x balloon
1 x pack of sandpaper
5 x tape measure