If you’ve been to a science fair or ever had a science project, most likely, you must’ve seen a Balloon Rocket flying off in your classroom. Videos of this famous project also exist on the internet, so, unless you’re living under a rock, you should be able to at least search it up on YouTube. This fun science project has been done several times already, and it’s sure worth the try. It’s best done with children since, with the use of easy-to-find household items, you’ll easily execute this rocket propelling balloon project!
How to Create your Balloon Rocket Experiment
Ready to countdown because we’re about to make that balloon skyrocket. If you’re planning to do this project, we’ll list the basic things you need and the procedure. There are other variants of this project, so we’ll add a little extra towards the end.
- Drinking Straw
- Two objects of the same height to tie the strings to. e.g., Chairs, Poles
- Place the chair at least 10 feet apart from each other. Then tie the other end of your string to the chair.
- Grab your straw and place the string inside it, then put two pieces of tape near the middle of the straw. The positioning of the tape is very important, as it can cause the straw to bend afterward. So do make sure it’s near the middle.
- Tie the remaining end on the chair and make sure it’s firm and tight. Do remember that the chairs should be at least 10 feet apart.
- Inflate the balloon to its standard size and hold the end so the air won’t escape. Then attach it with the tape onto the straw. Do make sure it’s properly taped since it could start flying off everywhere.
- Move the straw and the attached balloon to one end of the string.
- Lastly, let your kids do some minor observations on what could or should happen. Then, the countdown! 3, 2, 1, let go of the balloon and watch it go rocket off.
This fun experiment is surely fun to do since it’s easy and kid-friendly, too. You can keep on repeating the process as long as you want; just keep on inflating the balloon. An additional activity you can do here is to race with someone else. Build to sets of this project and watch it race head-on. Older kids can add other hypothetical questions to try deducing relevant items with the project.
They can try observing the following:
- Compare the distance of differently shaped balloons.
- What happens if other types of straws were used.
- Does the outcome change when the straw is shorter?
- What if you used yarn or thread instead of string?
- Difference if you tie the other end on a slope course
- Different types of air are used. E.g, helium or hydrogen
You kids would definitely enhance their observing and hypothetical thinking with these added questions, so you might want to add this to your experiment as well.
The Science Behind the Project
We sure did enjoy this Balloon Rocket project, but the main question is, how did it fly across? Evidently, it’s mainly because of air and thrust. The explanation comes from Newton’s famous Third Law of Motion that states, “That for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction.” When the air was released from the end of the balloon, the force propels it to go in the other direction. The equal opposite force made it rocket to the other side of the string.
Science can be fun
It’s been a common stigma for most students that science is indeed a boring subject or topic to learn since it’s filled with formulas and terms that are sometimes difficult to understand. Technically, terms and formulas are indeed difficult to understand, but with the right tools and teacher, most of the students studying the subject could easily get the hang of the topic. There are science teachers that do great with hands-on activities, and with those methods alone, they could definitely reach their students further. Science Projects could be mixed with fun and learning; just make sure to get the right tools and knowledge.