The Kid Should See This

Balloon Car Race, a DIY engineering activity for kids

Explore mass, thrust, drag, friction, and more with this hands-on engineering challenge from the James Dyson Foundation: Balloon car race. Mechanical engineer Shanice O’Mara introduces the DIY balloon-powered car activity for kids of all ages, including teens and adults, as well as the record-setting Bloodhound SSC Car that inspired it.

She meets with three Dyson engineers who share their balloon race car designs in a car race and a next-level demonstration.

balloon race cars
Supplies to start with: A balloon, a plastic cup or bottle, straws, thread, and rubber bands.

This 2016 video is one in a series created to get kids excited about engineering. Download the engineering challenge cards pdf to explore this DIY activity and others.

air pressure race car
Related at Scientific American: Build a Balloon-Powered Car.

Previously from Dyson: Spaghetti bridges, a DIY engineering activity for kids (and adults).

Plus, explore more balloon videos and more activities you can try at home, including these easy examples:
How to make fizzy bottle rockets
• ExpeRimental: How to Make Static Magic
How to make a homemade vortex cannon
Demonstrations of the Coanda Effect
How to Make a Cloud in Your Mouth
• How to make a self-starting siphon

Bonus: Driving on Air – Inventor Raul Oaida and his LEGO car.


Get smart curated videos delivered every week.    
Subscribe