• © Matthew Modoono

  • Design Challenges

    Participate in a hands-on activity to design, build, and test a prototype solution to a given problem.

    © Matthew Modoono

Included with exhibit halls admission.
Purchase exhibit halls admission

Drop-In Activity

Design Challenges

Create like an engineer! Participate in a hands-on activity in Engineering Design Workshop to learn all about the engineering design process by designing, building, and testing a prototype solution to a given problem. Using familiar materials and design constraints, have a fun and engaging experience with engineering and innovation processes.

Activities take on average 20 minutes to complete.

Educators: Thinking about making Design Challenges part of your next field trip? To help us better accommodate your group during your field trip, please contact us at designchallenges@mos.org to discuss planning Design Challenges into your schedule.

Our activity schedule varies daily, see below for a description of some of the Design Challenges currently in rotation:

  • Create-A-Claw Design and build a mechanical claw to grab and pick up toys! Explore the challenges of mechanical design by creating your own arcade claw.

  • Echo Base Bobsleds Engineer a miniature bobsled to go as fast or slow as possible down a hill. Explore concepts such as friction and energy and their impact on acceleration.

  • Extreme Trampolines Engineer a miniature trampoline to make a ball bounce as high or as low as possible! Using different fabrics, elastics, and clips, explore concepts of energy transfer and symmetry.

  • Soaring Satellites Build a device that can float for at least five seconds in the marked area of one of our vertical wind tubes. Consider concepts of lift and weight as you work to improve your design.

  • Trophy Triathlon Create a trophy that is able to support and balance your chosen ball as high as possible. Building a structure to hold anything from a tennis ball to a bowling ball, compare material properties, center of gravity, and shape strength.

  • Mission: Mars Design and build a large, fully enclosed habitat for the surface of Mars that can collapse to fit inside a lander and self-deploy. Explore the tradeoffs faced by NASA engineers as you test your design and maximize the volume of your structure.

  • Ships Ahoy Design and build a sailboat to go as fast as possible down the test track or one that carries the most treasure!

Check our Daily Schedule to confirm the latest available dates and times, and if you are a member, log in for member benefits and prices.

Included with Exhibit Halls Admission. Click the following button to purchase a ticket.

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Included with Exhibit Halls

To participate in this activity purchase exhibit halls admission.
Purchase admission

Event Details

Activities take on average 20 minutes to complete. They are available for 2 hours from the start time.
View Daily Schedule


Engineering Design Workshop. Find on map


Approximately 20 minutes


Recommended for: Grades K – 12


  • Multisensory Interactives
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Staffed Area
  • American Sign Language Interpretation Available Upon Request. Please request 2 weeks in advance.