Heavy Lifting

Accept NASA's challenge to design heavy lifting vehicles. Groups of three design balloon-powered rockets to carry as much payload to the ceiling as possible. The teams are encouraged to launch several times while making improvements to increase the payload each time. At the conclusion, each group debriefs the class on their best design. 

20 Views 19 Downloads NGSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Sticking with one rocket design, have teams determine the maximum amount it can lift
  • Instruct teams to evaluate the variables that will affect the ability of the rockets to lift the payload and how they plan to control those variables
Classroom Considerations

  • Each launch site requires ample space around it
Pros

  • The activity contains a data collection sheet to record information about the trials
  • Includes teacher tips to help with supply management
Cons

  • None