STEM Challenge Balloon Cars

Rated 4.82 out of 5, based on 91 reviews
91 Ratings
Teachers Are Terrific
Grade Levels
3rd - 5th
Formats Included
  • Zip
21 +editable
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What educators are saying

My students LOVED this balloon car STEM activity! Very engaging, will definitely be using again this school year.
My students loved this activity, they were engaged, and they used their creativity to design their cars.
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  3. Newton's Laws made easy! Here’s a set of 6 STEM challenges in a money-saving bundle that all involve Newton’s Laws of Motion! Students will be learning about the second and third laws specifically and designing Bottle Cars, Egg Cars, Newton’s Cradles, Paper Plate Balloon Cars, Balloon Carousels, a
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What an exciting STEM activity this turned out to be! Can you build a car that will roll and travel using a balloon as the propulsion method?! Yes, you can! Now, it might spin in circles a little bit, too, however that just adds one more problem to solve. Your kids will love this challenging project!

This challenge is available as part of money-saving bundles!

What is the challenge?

This STEM activity will have your students creating a car that rolls using some very basic supplies. The added bonus is to make the car propel forward with the power of a blown-up balloon. Will it roll? Will it travel on a straight path? How will the balloons be attached? Great questions for your problem-solving group! And there will be problem-solving. Your students will amaze you with their designs and ways to make this car work.

What is your prep?

Supplies needed in addition to this package include paper plates, wooden skewers, straws, balloons, tape, scissors, and small pieces of cardboard. Of course, substitutions can be made for any of these!

The package specifically contains:

  • Cover
  • Teacher Overview
  • Materials and Preparation page
  • 4 pages of Teacher Step-by-Step Directions
  • 1 page of Helpful Hints
  • 4 pages of photos
  • 2-page lab sheet with answer key
  • 1-page lab sheet with answer key
  • Terms of Use page and and MORE!
  • This resource also includes editable lab sheets, constraints poster, and scoring rubric.


The simplified version of the third law is: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This is the version most students might be familiar with. The easiest way to show this law is with a device called a Newton's Cradle.

So How Does This Apply to Balloon Cars?

You can relate this to the balloon car with a simple explanation. What is the action? The balloon expelling air. What is the reaction? The car moving.

This challenge works perfectly with other Balloon Challenges:

Save money by purchasing all three Balloon Challenges in money-saving bundles:


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Total Pages
21 +editable
Answer Key
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another. Examples of devices could include electric circuits that convert electrical energy into motion energy of a vehicle, light, or sound; and, a passive solar heater that converts light into heat. Examples of constraints could include the materials, cost, or time to design the device. Devices should be limited to those that convert motion energy to electric energy or use stored energy to cause motion or produce light or sound.
Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
Use evidence to construct an explanation relating the speed of an object to the energy of that object. Assessment does not include quantitative measures of changes in the speed of an object or on any precise or quantitative definition of energy.
Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.


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