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In this engineering design challenge, students will use what they know and can investigate about gravity, motion, and forces to design and build a shock-absorbing system that will protect two "astronauts" when they land.

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Related Programming Resources

Hints for uses in your library Once your patrons have completed the challenge, try a "how high can you go" contest!
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Originating Source NASA - JPL
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Rating 
Participants Enjoyed the Activity 
Participants Learned from This Activity 
Activity Instructions Were Clear and Easy to Follow 
Would Recommend 
05/22/2019

Great low-tech STEM fun

I recently tried this activity with an after-school group that I work with. It was great for all of the ages that I had that day (2nd-6th grade). Older students did a great job of coaching younger ones when needed so if you have a large group of younger students you might want a couple of helpers on hand.

We had to substitute some items (cotton balls instead of marshmallows for the astronauts) but everything seemed to work well. We also did tests dropping from higher elevations for some extra observations. Some students also wanted to experiment with seat belts after the original test which was fun too.

Definitely a fun, inexpensive and creative activity! I will be repeating this at another program this summer.

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In this engineering design challenge, students will use what they know and can investigate about gravity, motion, and forces to design and build a shock-absorbing system that will protect two "astronauts" when they land.