July 18, 2024
1 Solar System Way, Planet Earth, USA
Science And Technology

Science for kids: a straw rocket

These straw rockets They are very easy to make and lots of fun. You can make them plain or themed in different ways. We have made pterodactyls and rockets!

They are also fantastic. Introduction to forces, gravity and trajectory!

Don't forget that I also have a book full of space science and rocket experiments for kids. This IS rocket science It is available on Amazon in the UK and in bookstores in the US.

Easy Straw Rocket STEM Challenge

There are two ways to make these: you can use a wide straw as part of the rocket (taped shut at one end) or use paper taped shut at three ends so that the open end fits over the straw.

Materials for the straw rocket experiment: a straw and a small folded piece of paper with a red pterodactyl on the end.

You will need to

Paper version

Straw

Paper

Tape

Straw version

Normal straw

Wide straw

Scotch tape

Paper

Card

paper clips

Tip markers

How to make a straw rocket

Paper version

Cut a small strip of paper, fold it in half, and seal the top and the long side opposite the fold with tape.

This should be hanging loosely over the top of the straw.

Place it over the straw and blow, it should shoot into the air!

Decorate if you want!

Stracking version

Cut the straw wider, so you have a segment about one-third the length of the normal-width straw.

Completely seal one end of the wide straw with tape so that no air can pass through. Check it by blowing on the straw. Is any air leaking?

Draw a picture of a rocket or other space object on a piece of paper and use tape (double-sided works best) to attach it to the wider straw.

Place the wider straw on one end of the regular straw and blow!

Watch your rocket fly!

Try pointing the straw at different angles and blowing harder/softer to see how the rocket's flight changes.

Straw rocket - straw version

Instructions and template for making a straw rocket

Straw Rocket STEM Challenge Instructions and Template

If you prefer to make flying butterflies instead of rockets, the template above works well.

Why did this happened?

When you blow air through the straw, it travels to the end and makes its way out, taking the straw segment of the rocket with it as it moves. The harder you blow into the straw, the more energy the air will have and the farther the rocket will fly!

Boy blows on a straw to make a paper rocket fly

change the trajectory

Find out what happens to the straw rocket if you point it up. How far does it fly? Does it fly differently if you point it horizontally?

What is happening?

Two forces act on the straw rocket. Gravity The straw pulls downward while the force of the air blowing downward pushes it forward. These two forces combined give rise to a curved movement. A real rocket needs to overcome the downward gravitational force.

Straw Rocket Challenge: Extension Ideas

Add some weight to the straw rocket and see if that affects the distance it travels. You could use cardboard instead of paper for the rocket or add paper clips!

Create many different themes for your straw rockets. Red Ted Art has some beautiful Summer themed straw shooters. that work the same way.

More rocket science for kids

If you have kids who love space and rockets, you might like our Easy bottle rocket experiment , Rocket shaped like a film canister either Squeeze Bottle Rockets!

For younger children, I would recommend a rocket mouse! These are great fun for little ones and older siblings might enjoy taking part too!

How to make a straw rocket - science for kids

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Straw Rocket STEM Challenge

Last updated on January 29, 2024 by Emma Vanstone

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