PrintLab Classroom: Force and Motion with a Balloon-Powered Dragster

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Product description

Balloon-Powered Dragster


A lesson about forces and motion where students design their own balloon powered dragster


* This lesson is part of the PrintLab Classroom lesson portal. To purchase one-year access to 3D printing lesson plan portal, click here. *



In this five-lesson project, students will begin by learning about forces, motion, and Newton's Third Law. Using this knowledge, students will embark on a creative journey to design and 3D print their own functional, balloon-powered dragster! Their aim is to create a vehicle that can travel as far as possible in a straight line. In the final lesson, they will compete against each other using their own unique dragsters. Enrolling in PrintLab Classroom will give you complete access to the teacher training material and lesson documents. This includes content to help you prepare and deliver the lessons along with design tutorials so you become familiar with the process prior to teaching it in the classroom.


Subject Areas

The lesson can be incorporated into the study of physics, math, and technology, and can be adapted for ages 7-16.


Learning Criteria
In this project students will:
- Understand the principles of Newton's Third Law
- Develop an understanding of forces including air resistance, friction, thrust, and gravity
- Understand and explore mechanical concepts of wheels and axles
- Use their knowledge of forces and wheels to design a balloon-powered dragster using CAD software and 3D printing
- analyze the performance of their balloon-powered dragster by measuring the distance it can travel
Equipment List
Each student will require:
1 x laptop/computer with mouse and internet access
1 x pen/pencil

1 x balloon

The teacher will require:
1 x large format screen
1 x 3D printer and PLA filament
1 x laptop/computer with mouse, internet access, and slicing software for the 3D printer
1 x demonstration dragster (STL provided in lesson plan materials)
1 x balloon
1 x pack of sandpaper

5 x tape measure

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