## Rockets Away!

Science Process Skills
• observing
• communicating
• inferring
• relating
• measuring

Math Skills
• problem solving
• reasoning
• probability
• connections

Materials
• 3 drinking straws
• cellophane tape
• 3 inch square of paper
• balloon
• scissors

Doing the Activity
1. Inflate your balloon. Let it go.
2. Cut the rim off your balloon. Cut a 1 inch piece of drinking straw. Insert the 1 inch piece of straw in the balloon and tape securely. Inflate your balloon. Let it go.
3. Take a new straw and insert its end into another plastic straw. Cut one of the straws so that the total length of the two straws combined is 13 inches. Tape the 13 inch straw along the length of the nozzle (the balloon with the 1 inch straw). Carefully inflate the balloon then release it.
4. Take a piece of paper 3 inches square and cut it in half diagonally.
5. Tape the paper triangle "fins" to your balloon rocket with the widest part of the bottom. Inflate your balloon. Let it go.

Reflecting
• How did the balloon fly differently after adding pieces to the rocket?
• What happened when you added the long straw to your rocket?
• What happened when you added fins?

Applying
What would happen if you put an even longer stick on your rocket? Why are the sticks on bottle rockets so long? How did the nozzle work on your rocket? How does a nozzle work on a garden hose?

What's Happening
After adding a nozzle to the balloon, it moves in circles rather than wildly. The straw nozzle increases and directs the flow of air from the balloon. Adding a stick to the balloon helps to make the rocket stable in flight. If you increased the length of the stick, it would eventually decrease in performance due to the added weight. Adding fins helps the rocket to fly properly. Rockets are stabilized by the effects of air movement on their fins which function as controls.

More Challenges
• What would happen if you used two balloons instead of one?
• Are there certain fin configurations that work better than others? What works better, two or four fins? Why?
• Design and build your own rocket using materials other than straws and balloons.
• Conduct a rocket design and launch contest with your friends. Categories might include designs, distance, height, accuracy, etc.

Activity Source
"Rockets Away!" Ohio State University Extension Publications, 2021 Coffey Road, Kottman Hall, Columbus, OH, 43210, (614) 292-1607.

IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
University Extension

 E-SET ISU Extension Extension Sites Search Contact information: Vicki Speake speake@iastate.edu Updated: August, 2001