Making a Rocket, Recipe for a Rocket and Balloon Staging

Making a Rocket

Make a rocket to illustrate how air pressure works.

Materials

You will need:

  • Long piece of string
  • Large straw
  • Two chairs
  • Long balloon
  • Clothespin
  • Tape

Procedure

  1. Thread the string through the straw. Tie both ends of the string to the chairs, stretched tight.
  2. Blow up the balloon and use the clothespin to block the open end so the air won't escape.
  3. Tape the balloon to the straw.
  4. Slide the balloon and the straw to the end of the string.
  5. To launch the rocket, remove the clothespin.

Try making several rockets with different shape balloons. Do they fly the same way?

Recipe for a Rocket

Here's a rocket that you can build! Good luck!

Material

You will need:

  • Scotch tape
  • Scissors
  • Colouring pencils
  • Film canister
  • Antacid tablet
  • Water
  • White paper
  • Paper Towel

Hint: The film canister MUST be one with a cap that fits INSIDE the rim instead of over the outside rim.

Procedure

  1. Wrap a sheet of paper around the film canister; make sure the lid end of the canister is down. Tape the paper securely to the canister, and remember to leave room at the bottom so you can put the lid back on.
  2. Using a compass, or the lid of a jar, draw a circle onto another sheet of paper and cut it out. Roll your paper circle so that it forms into a cone.
  3. Tape the cone to the top of your rocket.
  4. Using your sheet of paper, draw and cut out some fins for your rocket.

Prepare For Lift-Off!

Messy Activity Alert

  1. Fill your canister one-third full of water. Now work quickly on the next steps!
  2. Drop in 1/2 of the antacid tablet. Put the lid on tight.
  3. Stand the rocket on the floor.
  4. Stand back and watch!

Balloon Staging

Materials

You will need:

  • 2 long party-balloons
  • Nylon mono-filament fishing line (any weight)
  • 2 plastic straws (milkshake size)
  • Styrofoam coffee cup
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors
  • 2 spring clothespins

Objective

To demonstrate how rockets can achieve greater altitudes by using the technology of staging.

Description

This demonstration simulates a multistage rocket launch by using two inflated balloons that slide along a fishing line by the thrust produced from escaping air.

Procedure

  1. Thread the fishing line through the two straws. Stretch the fishing line snugly across a room and secure its ends. Make sure the line is just high enough for people to pass safely underneath.
  2. Cut the coffee cup in half so that the lip of the cup forms a continuous ring.
  3. Stretch the balloons by pre-inflating them. Inflate the first balloon about three-fourths full of air and squeeze its nozzle tight. Pull the nozzle through the ring. Twist the nozzle and hold it shut with a spring clothespin. Inflate the second balloon. While doing so; make sure the front end of the second balloon extends through the ring a short distance. As the second balloon inflates, it will press against the nozzle of the first balloon and take over the clip's job of holding it shut. It may take a bit of practice to achieve this. Clip the nozzle of the second balloon shut also.
  4. Take the balloons to one end of the fishing line and tape each balloon to a straw with masking tape. The balloons should point parallel to the fishing line.
    Balloon
  5. Remove the clip from the first balloon and untwist the nozzle. Remove the clip from the second balloon as well, but continue holding it shut with your fingers.
  6. If you wish, do a rocket countdown as you release the balloon you are holding. The escaping gas will propel both balloons along the fishing line. When the first balloon released runs out of air, it will release the other balloon to continue the trip.