Starting with a sheet of A4 paper, pupils design a personalised rocket fuselage. They then build the rocket with the aid of a length of plastic tube and glue. After discussing safety issues, the rocket can be launched by blowing into the tube.
The flight of the rocket is improved considerably by adding fins to the rocket tail.
Pupils test their rocket’s accuracy by participating in a competition to hit a target.
The activity may be enhanced further by taking the rockets outside and using a stamp-bottle launcher. Using a compressed air reservoir launcher gives greater altitude but takes time to prepare each launch so is more suited to smaller groups.
A well made rocket may travel 60
70 metres horizontally and climb 30
40 metres vertically.
Suitable for years 3 – 6
Taking Approx. 1 – 1 ½ Hrs
Activity content for Rockets address QCA Units Sc1E, 2E 4E & 6E
- Forces are needed to make things move
- Objects are pulled downwards because of the gravitational attraction between them and the Earth
- Air resistance is a frictional force that slows moving objects
- Air pressure can produce forces
Design & Technology
- Assemble and combine components
- Design and make images and artefacts
- Work in a team and follow a plan
- Identify ways the product could be improved
- Carry out appropriate tests before improvements
- Recognise that the quality of a product depends on how well it is made and how well it meets its intended purpose