Guide to Propulsion
Balloon Rocket Car
Subject Area: Physics, Integrated Science
Grade Level: 9-12
- Unifying Concepts
models, and explanation.
order, and organization.
- Form and
- Physical Science:
- Motions and
of Matter and Energy
- Science and
about science and technology.
of technological design.
research tools - use content-specific tools, software and simulations
to support learning and research.
research tools - select and use appropriate tools and technology
resources to accomplish a variety of tasks and solve problems.
Students will learn the concepts of Newton’s Law of Motion, friction, jet propulsion,
and air resistance by designing and constructing a balloon powered rocket car
that can extract the most energy out of the inflated balloon and make the vehicle travel
the longest distance.
The Beginner's Guide
to Propulsion is a Web site of information prepared at NASA Glenn Research
Center to help you better understand aircraft engine propulsion. Click
Beginner's Guide Index to access
the list of slides. Open the slide called
Thrust (with text), read the explanation, and use it to complete the activity.
There are two activities available for the students: an
in which detailed instructions
for building the car is provided and a more
in which the student must determine their own design.
You, or you
and your partner(s), will be evaluated on the efficiency of your
design by means of a car race with other students.
demonstrate the ability to use information found on the World Wide Web
and apply what you have learned about rocket thrust.
Submitted by: Ashlie
Mcvetta, Reasearch Aerospace Engineer, Aeropropulsion Division, NASA Glenn Research Center,