Exploration Vehicles

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Using recycled materials, learners will design a transportation vehicle to carry an egg in an egg toss (a rudimentary model of a shock absorbent transport vessel). Learners will consider how their design would protect very delicate and sophisticated equipment over long distances, and how this applies to rockets designed to carry exploration satellites or modules into space. This activity can be found on pages 54-57 of the activity guide. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on Archive.org.]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
1 to 2 hours

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration, Model


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Worksheet – Designing a Rocket and Lander
  • Worksheet – Designing an Exploration Vehicle
  • Recyclable materials, plastic, foam, fabric, etc.
  • Empty egg cartons
  • Masking tape
  • String or yarn
  • 12 or more chicken eggs
  • Sheets of graph paper


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Astronomy
      • Probes, Satellites and Spacecraft
  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Aerospace Engineering
    • Technology
      • Transportation
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving

Informal Categories

  • Model Building
  • Physical Activity
  • Transportation


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Science After School Consumer's Guide


  • All rights reserved, TERC, 2007

Funding Sources:

  • NASA, NAS5-26555
  • National Science Foundation, NSF 9730728