Design a Space Helmet!

Science at Home

Arizona Science Center and #SariOnScience are here to be your resource for bringing science to life at home. From crafts to experiments, we’re here to be your resource for fun science activities that spark curiosity and motivate learning! Materials are easy to find, most activities take an hour or less, and the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning is limitless.

Target grade level(s): 4th - 8th

How to Design a Space Helmet

Astronaut in Space

A space helmet is vital for any astronaut traveling into space. The helmet can protect the astronaut’s skull from any sudden impacts. Engineering your own helmet takes a lot of time and testing to perfect it. Using an egg to represent an astronaut skull, design and test an "egg-cellent" helmet for your astronaut.

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One (1) Egg
One (1) Sandwich Bag Per Egg
One (1) Water Bottle
One (1) Scissors
One (1) Tape

Any small materials around the house such as:
Small pieces of fabric
Tissue Paper
Popsicle Sticks

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1. Using the pencil, punch one hole in the cup ½ inch below the rim
2. Punch a second hole on the opposite side of the cup ½ inch below the rim
3. Thread one piece of string through each hole and tie them off
4. Place pennies in the cup
5. Investigate how you can prevent the materials from falling out of the cup when upside down
6. Repeat steps 4-5 with pennies and marbles

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Guiding Questions

1. Make an observation on your egg. Where is it the most fragile? Where should you focus on protecting your astronaut? Place your egg in a sandwich bag and place it to the side.
2. The water bottle will be the base for the helmet and can be used however your young engineer would like. HOWEVER, the egg in the bag has to be placed within the water bottle somehow.
3. Present additional materials that can be used as cushioning for your helmet. Feel free to set rules on how materials distribution will work (ex. You can only pick 3 additional materials or Tape counts as one material).
4. Have the young engineer design a plan. They can draw and label their needed materials.
5. Once their design plan has been approved, they can start engineering their helmet! (Keep the egg in the bag for easy clean up)
6. When complete, determine your testing site with a consistent drop height. For example, the young engineer can stand on a chair, have their arm straight out.
7. TEST TIME! Drop the helmet and see what happens! Was your astronaut protected?
8. Use the following sheet to reflect on the results and plan for future testing.
9. For an added challenge to make it more realistic, include a budget! Price the materials and try to make a cost-effective design while protecting your astronaut.

Test Materials Used Observation on Egg AFTER the drop How well did your helmet protect your astronaut? What changes would you make?

Download This Activity Worksheet