Balloon Powered Dragster

A lesson about forces and motion where students design their own balloon powered dragster - available to subscribers of The PrintLab Classroom

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Lesson Overview

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.

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.

In this project students will:

  • develop an understanding of the principles of Newton's Third Law

  • develop an understanding of forces including air resistance, friction, thrust and gravity

  • 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

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