Home Facts You Can Feel Blog Balloon Powered Car Challenge – Virtual Science Space

Balloon Powered Car Challenge – Virtual Science Space

Are you up for the challenge?

Can you build a car powered by nothing but air? This fun and easy challenge asks you to build with materials you already have around your house. Get ready to grab some simple supplies to bring your idea to life!

Today’s Objective: Design and build your own balloon-powered car that will travel as far and fast as possible.

Use whatever you want for this STEM challenge from items laying around your house. Below are some suggestions of things to try.

What you might need:

  • Balloons
  • Bottle caps
  • Paddle pop sticks
  • Scissors
  • Straws
  • Blu tac
  • Glue
  • Sticky tape
  • Paperclips
  • Old CDs
  • Old takeaway containers


For this one, we need to think about how things move. If you push down into the floor, you can push yourself up. If you kick a ball against a wall it bounces back. If you let the air out of a balloon, which way does the balloon go?

Can you build something around the balloon to harness its power?? Maybe try making some wheels first. Or attach it to a straw on a string so it zooms across the room! See how far you can get it to go!


Key concepts


Kinetic energy

Potential energy

Conservation of energy

Newton’s laws of motion



Engineering Design Process: Engineering and Science are very important parts of STEM. While on some levels they’re very similar (both experiment, both question, both run tests) they follow slightly different rules. 

 If you follow these 6 simple steps, you’ll be an engineer in no time. 

CHALLENGE: Engineers sometimes follow things called “design briefs”. They’re given a list of things their client wants and some limits (like price, material availability or size) and then they figure out the best way to build things. At Science Space, we call these “challenges”. But Engineers are always looking out for ways to make things work better. So look around you and challenge how things work – can you do it differently? 

EXPLORE: Science and Engineering share this step. Exploration and research are vital. What are you building? What are some problems you need to overcome? Is someone already doing the thing you want to do? How can you make their design better or different? What things do you have at hand to use? All of these are important research questions you need to answer! 

DESIGN: Making plans and drawing up the things you want to make is really important. Keeping a track of things you’ve tried will also help you when you circle back to this step after testing things out. Sometimes engineers can go through thousands of prototypes before they get to the best one!

MAKE: You’ve got to build it! 

TEST: Does your build do what you want it to do? Does it work? A note here too – you can build sections of your contraption or thing and test as you go. It all depends on what works best for the design and for you!

REFINE: This is the final step before circling back to the “Design” phase. What would make your thing better? How can you change it to make it work? These last four steps can circle for ages before you hit on your final build.






[MOLLY] Hey guys, my name is Molly and I work here at Science Space. And today I have another Maker Challenge for you all. But today it’s a little bit different, it’s a bit more open-ended. So what we want you to do is create a car that is powered by a balloon. So you can use any materials that you find lying around the house, recycled containers, or if you have and lids you can use for wheels, or you could use cardboard, anything that you have lying around the house. You can also use things like skewers or straws if you need as well. You can decorate them any way you like to make them nice and pretty. The only requirements are your car needs to be able to hold some people in it, so you can use any sort of figurines you have around, and it needs to be powered by one single balloon. So the idea is to see how far your car goes powered by just one balloon. So if you give this a go, please post them on Facebook or Instagram, tag us in it or leave it in the comments below. We can’t wait to see what you create!




Virtual Science Space is our offering to the community during these challenging times. We are aiming to help all aspiring scientists, engineers and STEM lovers alike to continue their STEM learning at home.

Using our amazing  STEM Team made up of real-life scientists, science students and aspiring educators to we have videoed awesome experiments, fantastic demos (that come directly out of our LIVE science shows) and put together some maker challenges for you and your children to do together at home.

As the COVD-19 situation is evolving at a rapid speed, we have done our best to quickly create these materials. As such, we have not edited ANY of these videos, and we ask that you please be understanding.  All videos will have closed captioning available via our YouTube channel.

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