Make a Planetary Exploration Balloon

This Make a Planetary Exploration Balloon activity also includes:

Balloons aren't just for parties! An inquiry-based lesson explores the idea of using balloons for space exploration. Learners become engineers as they attempt to control the ascent and descent of a helium balloon using different masses.

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CCSS: Designed
NGSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • Give each group a different-sized balloon and compare results
  • After pupils have worked to find a pattern between velocity and mass, challenge them to calculate the mass needed for a specific velocity
Classroom Considerations
  • Expects at least a basic understanding of gravity and weight
  • Adaptable to a wide range of grade levels
  • Includes both teacher and student guides
  • None
Common Core