Design a Safer Bicycle Helmet

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In this activity, learners design a bicycle helmet. Participants will explore the design of bicycle helmets to gain an appreciation for the role that helmet layers play protecting the head. They will learn about and use the engineering/design process in order to make the best product they can. This is a lengthy activity, possibly best to be spread out over several days.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
Over $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 2 sample bicycle helmets
  • EPS (polystyrene) or Styrofoam approx. 10” square
  • Thin hard plastic (e.g. cut the plastic from a 2 liter soda bottle to lay flat)
  • 5 pound weight
  • Scissors
  • Masking Tape


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Momentum and Velocity
      • Newton's Laws
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Research and Development
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories

  • Sports and Exercise
  • Transportation


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, COSI Columbus, 2009