National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Engineering Design: Forces and Motion -- Balloon Aerodynamics Challenge

During this web seminar, teachers learned about the Forces and Motion: Balloon Aerodynamics Challenge for students. Seminar participants reviewed basic aerodynamics forces, then watched videos showing how NASA keeps the International Space Station in the correct orbit, how astronauts train in the Neutral Buoyancy Lab, and how NASA applies aerodynamic principles to atmospheric ballooning. Attendees received a list of materials needed for students to complete the challenge and learned how to execute this activity in the classroom. They also collaborated with other participants on possible modifications depending on grade level. Educators found out about the many opportunities for incorporating national mathematics, science, and technology learning standards into their curricula.


This web seminar is part of a series of electronic professional development experiences sponsored by the NASA Explorer Schools (NES) project. NASA Explorer Schools invests in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics educators to inspire and engage a whole generation of future scientists, engineers and technicians that NASA needs to continue our journey. NES gives educators of grades 4-12 free access to NASA’s people, missions, research, and facilities. We take the work out of searching through thousands of materials on the NASA website and provide a comprehensive set of teaching materials for dozens of STEM concepts. For additional information about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit

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