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17 Reviews | 2463 Downloads

The Aeronauts Lesson for Middle School: Hot Air Balloon Engineering Design Challenge

Grade Level Grades 6-8
Resource Type Activity, Lesson Plan
Standards Alignment
Next Generation Science Standards


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Overview: Engineering Design Challenge 

Using only the materials provided, student teams will design and create a hot air balloon that will lift off of the ground, and they will track its altitude during the flight over time. 

Driving Question: How can we design, build and launch a hot air balloon and track its altitude over time? 

Learning Targets: 

  • Students will collaborate to achieve a common goal. 
  • Students will design and build a working model of a hot air balloon. 
  • Students will describe the properties of gases and how a hot air balloon works in relation to buoyancy. 
  • Students will learn and implement the Engineering Design Process while creating a model of a hot air balloon. 

Created by the AFT Science Cadre.

Want more lessons inspired by The Aeronauts?

Check out more free lesson plans and resources on Share My Lesson on The Aeronauts by Amazon Studios page

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Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.


17 Reviews
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Deb Saunders
May 29, 2020
just wow! very well done and amazing info for students
Emily Loughlin
December 02, 2019
Can't wait to use this in my science class.
December 02, 2019
I think this can appeal to all levels of learners, from middle to high school. I love the cryptogram puzzle as it really promotes critical thinking and analysis in a really simple paper and pencil format. Even a student who is not scientifically inclined can be engaged. As a media specialist, I always look to connect to the classics. It would be a great segue to Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne.
December 02, 2019
I teach mathematics in a STEAM school and these resources will make for an incredible STEAM day activity for our students!
Anne McCluskey
December 02, 2019