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Rockets, week 1 - Science with Design & Technology (D & T)

This and next week we will be doing Science investigations, making rockets in different ways.


This week, can you find out if the size of a balloon affects how far a balloon-powered rocket will travel along a string?

Using balloons of different shapes or sizes, can you predict which will travel the furthest, when the air inside is allowed to escape? Can you explain what will happen and why?

You will need:

a length of string or wool, tied between 2 chairs

a 'rocket' tube (loo roll) or straw

2-3 balloons of different sizes

masking tape (or celotape)

a peg

decorations - optional


What to do:

Slide the tube or straw onto the length of string, before tying it tightly between two chairs. 

Blow up a balloon and attach it to the tube. 

Pinch the neck, twist and hold it closed with the peg.

Let the balloon go and mark its finish point on the floor under the string. 

Now repeat with a different balloon.

Find out which balloon zoomed the furthest.  If you have enough space and people, you could have a race!


Talk about whether all of the balloons travelled at the same speed and distance & if they can explain their results.

Note: With the help of an extra pair of hands, tape the balloon to the straw on the string, ensuring that the balloon is underneath, horizontal & that the air can escape freely, when you take your fingers, or the peg, off the neck.


Why not record what you did and maybe take some photos.  You could send them to us through the contact pages and we can post them for others to see!

Here's another idea to try!