Balloon Car Race Project Physics
To design a working car powered only by a balloon that can travel 2 meters as
quickly as possible. Each team’s car will compete head to head against others in
their class in a double elimination tournament. Part of the grade will be based on
the car’s performance in the competition.
The Balloon Car Races will take place on Tuesday, November 24 for Blue Day classes and on
Wednesday, November 25 for White Day classes.
1. Students may work alone or in groups of 2. There may not be more than 2 people in a group.
2. The only power source for your car will be a single balloon (of any size). No other power source
(springs, rubber bands, propellers, compressed air, internal combustion, etc.) will be allowed.
3. The balloons may only be blown up using lung power by the car operator. No other gases may be
4. During the initial release of the gas (at the starting line), you must take care to not enhance or
diminish the performance of the car. Cars will be disqualified if the racers push them at the start.
5. Your car must be constructed from your own materials. You may not use parts of any toy cars or kit
cars. In particular, the wheels must be made out of something that originally was not meant to be
6. Your partner and you are responsible for coordinating with each other and making sure that at least
one of you is present with your car on race day.
1. Making the car travel straight.
2. Getting the lowest time possible. This means you have to consider carefully the forces that act on the
car so you can minimize resistance and maximize forward push. It also means building the car so that it
responds to the force quickly.
3. Being able to easily replace balloons as they get “tired.” You need to have replacement balloons
Scoring: Out of 75 pts.
•Having a car built 40 pts
•Car travels at least two meters 17 pts
•Ranking in the races 8 pts
•Analysis of car's motion 10 pts