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

During this web seminar participants learned about the “Balloon Aerodynamics Challenge.” In this activity students collect information about density, neutral buoyancy, and drag, then use that data to solve a problem. Web seminar participants got a refresher on basic aerodynamic forces and 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. Educators received a list of materials needed for the challenge and learned about methods for executing this activity in the classroom.


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

See when other NASA Explorer Schools web seminars are scheduled.

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