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Balloon Rocket

What you’ll learn: This activity is a great way to teach your child about concepts such as thrust and energy. It can also serve as a fun introduction to the world of aeronautics and rocketry.

What you need:

  • A balloon (longer ones work better, but round ones work too)
  • Balloon rocketA long piece of kite string (10 – 15 ft.)
  • A plastic straw
  • Clear tape

What to do:

  • Tie one end of the string to a chair or door knob
  • Put the other end of the string through the straw
  • Pull the string tight and then tie the other end to another support (preferably at the same height as, or slightly lower than, the other end of the string)
  • Blow up the balloon. Don’t tie the end, but pinch it closed.
  • Tape the balloon to the straw (keep the end pinched closed, make sure the tape isn’t blocking where the air will be coming out of the balloon)
  • Let go and watch your rocket fly!

 After your rocket has launched:

  • Discuss why the rocket moved. Introduce the concept of thrust (as the air leaves the balloon, it creates a forward motion called thrust, which is a pushing force created by energy).
  • Discuss how this is similar to real rockets (which also use downward thrust to go upward)

 

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