Balloon Powered Race Cars

Balloon Powered Race Cars
Balloon Powered Race Cars
Balloon Powered Race Cars
Balloon Powered Race Cars
Balloon Powered Race Cars
Balloon Powered Race Cars
File Type


(644 KB|18 pages)
  • Product Description
  • StandardsNEW

This is a project-based inquiry lesson that will help students concretely understand how to analyze movement using Newton’s three laws of motion. During this lesson students will:

*Design and engineer race cars that operate using a balloon

*Review Newton’s Laws of Motion

*Track/ analyze data and calculate speed

*Participate in a race with classmates

*Construct a 5 paragraph argumentative essay

This project covers middle school NGSS standards as well as standards in math and ELA. This lesson includes:

*Student packet filled with review questions on Newton's Laws, rough draft area for designing their car, and data collection worksheets

*detailed teacher instructions for running and managing this project-based learning activity

*Instructions for 2 different instructional strategies; a culminating event activity and a student-led, inquiry-based activity.

*A writing guide and outline for the essay

*answer keys (where applicable)

Recommended Age Group: middle school, grades 6-8

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Log in to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Apply Newton’s Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects. Examples of practical problems could include the impact of collisions between two cars, between a car and stationary objects, and between a meteor and a space vehicle. Assessment is limited to vertical or horizontal interactions in one dimension.
Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object. Emphasis is on balanced (Newton’s First Law) and unbalanced forces in a system, qualitative comparisons of forces, mass and changes in motion (Newton’s Second Law), frame of reference, and specification of units. Assessment is limited to forces and changes in motion in one-dimension in an inertial reference frame, and to change in one variable at a time. Assessment does not include the use of trigonometry.
Reason abstractly and quantitatively. Mathematically proficient students make sense of quantities and their relationships in problem situations. They bring two complementary abilities to bear on problems involving quantitative relationships: the ability to decontextualize-to abstract a given situation and represent it symbolically and manipulate the representing symbols as if they have a life of their own, without necessarily attending to their referents-and the ability to contextualize, to pause as needed during the manipulation process in order to probe into the referents for the symbols involved. Quantitative reasoning entails habits of creating a coherent representation of the problem at hand; considering the units involved; attending to the meaning of quantities, not just how to compute them; and knowing and flexibly using different properties of operations and objects.
Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.
Total Pages
18 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 Weeks
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