Extreme Trampolines

A great deal of science and engineering goes in to building a trampoline. Through this activity, participants explore different materials and how their properties affect a trampoline’s ability to make something bounce as high as possible or as low as possible off its surface.

The goal of this challenge is to build a trampoline that can make a golf ball bounce as high or as low as possible off its surface. Working in small teams, participants use a variety of materials to design, build, and test their trampolines in our trampoline testers. Participants think and build like engineers as they experience the design process to make improvements to their trampolines through redesigning and retesting prototypes.


activity video:

Extreme Trampolines


Engineering and Invention

age range



  • Trampoline Testers (system to drop golf balls from a fixed height and give a bounce height read-out for multiple tests)

  • Golf Balls

  • Trampoline bases with attachment posts for different material configurations (can make these bases out of different materials like K’NEX)

  • Fabric surfaces with different material properties

  • Name tag clips

  • Hair Ties

  • Polyester Loops

  • Cotton Loops

safety issues


outdoor, indoor, trampolines, entertainment, sports, safety, design challenge, materials engineering, elasticity, physics, acceleration, experiment design; structures


Museum of Science, Boston