Energy systems

Fantastic Elastic

Make a Balloon Car


Students complete their balloon cars, keeping track of issues as they come up.

Advance Preparation

  • Chart for posting issues that arise in making balloon cars.


  • Partially completed balloon cars from Lesson 7.
  • Materials for making balloon cars, for use as spare parts.


  1. Making balloon cars:
    Students continue working on their balloon cars. Students whose balloon cars are completed can help others. As students are working, ask them to keep track of issues that arise. Post the issues on chart paper. As students ask for help with problems, identify these as issues, by adding them to the chart. Some examples of issues which are likely to come up:

    • Balloon won’t hold air
    • Balloon won’t stay on car
    • Car won’t go at all
    • Car won’t go straight
    • Car topples over

  2. Science Notebook:

    • Compile an Issues List, including anything that didn’t work the way you wanted it to.
    • Describe what you did today.

  3. Outcomes:

    • Students gain further practice in isolating problems. You can’t usually solve a problem until you know what it is.


Many issues arise as students build balloon cars.

Each issue gives an opportunity to troubleshoot. Embrace these issues because only by troubleshooting do students learn to solve balloon car problems. These videos represent some of the issues that arise.

Balloon car won’t move because:

Other Problems