- One balloon (plus a few spares in case one pops)
- Two straight straws including: One thin straw, and one wide straw that is wide enough to easily slide over the thin one. A straw for milkshakes or other large drinks works well.
- A few sheets of paper to make fins for your rocket
Your challenge: How can you design and build design and build an air-powered rocket that can hit a target 5 feet away?
Build Your Launcher
- Build the air-powered launcher for your rocket.
- Take a thin straw and slide it into the mouth of the balloon.
- Use tape to attach the straw and seal up any gaps.
- To test your seal, inflate the balloon by blowing through the straw. Is your seal air-tight? Make sure none of the air is escaping through the seal.
Design and Build Your Rocket
- Once your launcher is ready, it’s time to design and build your rocket using your wide straw.
- The straw needs to be open at one end to take in the air from the balloon and closed off on the other end to harness that air power.
- To close off one end, you can fold one end over and secure with tape, or design another way of closing it off.
Brainstorm Designs for Your Fins
- Think about the stability of your rocket.
- How can attaching paper fins help you hit your target?
- How many fins do you think you need for a stable flight?
- Sketch out a few fin designs, choose one to try, and use tape to attach your fins to your rocket.
Test It Out!
- Inflate the launcher and pinch off the balloon to keep it inflated.
- Slide the rocket onto the thin straw of the launcher.
- Aim the rocket and, holding on to the rear of the balloon, release your pinched fingers.
- How far did it go? Did you hit your target or come close?
Make Change and Try Again!
- Experiment with your fins size, shape, number, and placement and observe how they affect the rocket’s flight to the target.
- Did you succeed? Try new challenge like building the rocket that goes as high as possible or experiment with different materials.
Share Your Results with a Teacher, Parent/Guardian, or DiscoverE!
- You can email photos to DiscoverE at social@DiscoverE.org