Center Focus

Balloon Rocket

  1. You will need long balloons, string cut in 20 foot sections, metric tape, soda straws, scissors, tape, paper clips and scrap paper for this activity.
  2. Have the following set-up instructions posted for your students:
    • Cut the straw in half.
    • Place the string through the straw and tie each end to a chair. Pull the chairs apart as far as they can go.
    • Blow up the balloon, twist the end, and close it with a paper clip.
    • Attach the balloon to the soda straw with tape so that the paper-clipped end of the balloon is facing one of the chairs.
  3. They will then make a chart with circumference of balloon vs. distance balloon goes. They then measure the balloon, take off the paper clip and let it go. Have them do this with 4 or 5 different sizes and record their findings.
  4. Then let them experiment with adding weight, fins or nose cones made from scrap paper, etc. Have them record these findings as well.
  5. Have them make a conclusion about their findings. Did they have one design that worked especially well? What didn't work?

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