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Balloon Cars Challenge—Guided-Inquiry Kit

By: The Flinn Staff

Item #: AP7922 

Price: $62.60

Temporarily out of stock; call for availability.

In the Balloon Cars Challenge Guided-Inquiry Kit for physical science and physics, construct and test an easy-to-assemble balloon-powered car prototype.

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Product Details

Your students will be thinking like champions with Flinn’s Balloon Cars Challenge! Each group constructs and tests an easy-to-assemble balloon-powered car prototype. Next students use their knowledge of forces and Newton’s laws to identify variables that may affect the car’s performance. Modifications are then made to the basic design in order to investigate one or more variables. Finally the redesigned cars are put to the test—who will win the challenge? A fun and memorable activity to engage students in science and engineering practices!

Complete for 30 students working in pairs.


Materials Included in Kit: 
Balloons, assorted colors, 5", Pkg/50, 2
Bamboo skewers, 12", 15
Foam bases, 6" x 2" x 1", 15
Knives, clear plastic, 15
Mousetrap car wheels, 3 cm, 60
Perler beads, black, Pkg/150
Rubber bands, medium, 1-3/4" x 1/16" x 1/32", 60
Sandpaper sheets, 9" x 11", 2
Straws, flexi-end, Pkg/50

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Asking questions and defining problems
Developing and using models
Planning and carrying out investigations
Analyzing and interpreting data
Using mathematics and computational thinking
Constructing explanations and designing solutions
Obtaining, evaluation, and communicating information

Disciplinary Core Ideas

MS-PS2.A: Forces and Motion
MS-PS2.B: Types of Interactions
MS-PS3.A: Definitions of Energy
MS-ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems
MS-ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions
MS-ETS1.C: Optimizing the Design Solution
HS-PS2.A: Forces and Motion
HS-PS2.B: Types of Interactions
HS-PS3.A: Definitions of Energy
HS-ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems

Crosscutting Concepts

Scale, proportion, and quantity
Systems and system models
Energy and matter
Structure and function
Cause and effect

Performance Expectations

MS-PS2-1. Apply Newton’s Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects.
MS-PS2-2. 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
MS-ETS1-2. Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
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.
HS-PS1-4. Develop a model to illustrate that the release or absorption of energy from a chemical reaction system depends upon the changes in total bond energy.
HS-PS2-2. Use mathematical representations to support the claim that the total momentum of a system of objects is conserved when there is no net force on the system.
HS-ETS1-2. Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.