Lesson Plan

Designing a Crew Exploration Vehicle

Curated and Reviewed by Lesson Planet

Take your class on an out-of-this-world adventure with this fun engineering design lesson. Working in small groups, young scientists design, build, and test crew exploration vehicles using some creativity, teamwork, and an assortment of recycled materials.

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
Additional Tags
Instructional Ideas
  • Include this lesson in an upper elementary astronomy unit on space exploration
  • After they've completed their projects, hold a gallery walk during which students can leave comments and questions about each other's vehicles
Classroom Considerations
  • During the week leading up to this lesson have the students bring in recyclable materials to use for completing the project
  • Coordinate this activity with a school or district science fair, allowing your class to present their work to parents, students, and teachers
  • Activity calls for a hot glue gun for assembling the vehicles and and ice pick for poking holes in materials, but you may want to consider the use of alternative tools
  • All educational materials are available in both English and Spanish, including the lesson plan, video, and worksheets
  • The steps in the scientific method are explicitly taught throughout the duration of this design project
  • Cross-curricular explorations are suggested for English language arts
  • Provided with the lesson is a rubric for assessing student work
  • None