Engineering design challenge: Let’s play tennis

Engineers and geoscientists play an important part in protecting the public, including designing safe toys and sports equipment for us to play with. Items like tennis rackets are engineered to be light but durable to help athletes play better. The strings are chosen and strung so that they have maximum impact when they hit the ball, but won’t break because of the force. What can you use to create your own tennis racket?


Design a tennis racket out of household objects and use it to hit a ball to a target or to another person.


Instruct participants to use objects they can find around the house to create their racket (some examples are below).

Example materials

Instruct participants to use these or any other materials they find around their house to work with:

  • Cardboard tubes
  • String
  • Elastics
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic wrap
  • Wire
  • Tape
  • Craft sticks
  • Straws
  • Glue