Today’s activity is to make a balloon powered rocket! My kids had so much fun launching the rocket and racing it across our room! My paper-craft-loving son also really enjoyed the challenge I gave him to draw a rocket using only shapes to attach to the balloon.

MATERIALS: 

  • Straw
  • String
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Paper
  • Balloon
  • Clothespin

PROCEDURE:

1. Challenge you kids to draw a picture of a rocket using only shapes! We drew one with a triangle top, rectangle body, 2 triangle wings, and circle windows.

2. Cut out the rocket and tape it to the straw. 

3. Blow up the balloon and use the clothespin to keep it full.

4. Tape the balloon to the rocket.

5. Attach one end of the string to the wall (or the back of a chair) with tape.

6. String your straw rocket onto the other end of the string (with the end of the balloon with the clothespin closest to the wall and the rocket pointing towards the opposite wall), then tape the string to an opposite wall (or the back of a second chair), making sure the string is close to level.

7. Countdown from 10, then release the clothespin and watch the rocket fly forward as the balloon deflates.

STEAM CONCEPTS LEARNED:

  • Science: The balloon full of air has stored energy. When you release the clothespin the air is quickly expelled in one direction while the rocket takes off in the opposite direction. This is called propulsion and can be explained by Newton’s Third Law: every action (the balloon releasing stored energy backwards) has an equal and opposite reaction (the rocket is thrust forward).
  • Math: We practiced drawing shapes to make the rocket. We also practiced counting down from 10 for the rocket launch. 
  • Art: We drew and colored a rocket!

This activity was so much fun! My kids raced the rocket over and over again. They loved blowing up the balloon and releasing the clothespin to launch the rocket! Let me know if you try this fun activity!

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