You and your kids will love this balloon rocket science experiment for kids! Here’s how to make a straw balloon rocket at home! This easy and repeatable STEM project for kids inspires some great questions- the most important part of any science activity!
Balloons. Rockets! You’d be hard pressed to find a kid of any age who isn’t interested when you throw out those words together.
It’s never too early to start learning basic science theory! This activity will help your child learn about propulsion as the balloons are filled with air and then move quickly across the string as the air is released.
Set Up A Balloon Rocket Science Experiment for Kids
To begin your balloon rocket experiment, gather the following supplies:
- 2 poles or the backs of two chairs
- A straw
- 20 feet of string, yarn, or twine (needs to be thin enough to thread through the straw)
- 2-4 balloons (different colors would be good, but optional)
In the early years, the best way to develop science-minded kids is encourage inquisitiveness!
Before you get started, introduce your kids to the idea of formulating a hypothesis. Begin setting up the experiment, but before actually doing it, take a few minutes to ask kids what they predict will happen!
Setting up this science experience for kids is pretty simple!
- Cut your straw into 3-inch sections and thread the string through one of the cut straw sections.
- Attach your piece of string between two poles, a large archway, or between two chairs. It works best if one end of the string is higher than the other.
- Blow up the balloon but don’t tie it off, just pinch the end shut.
- Without letting the balloon deflate, tape it to the straw on the string. Make sure the open end of the balloon is pointing towards the high end of the string so that it will travel down the string properly when released.
- Slide the straw and balloon up to the high end of the string.
- Let go and watch your balloon rocket shoot to the end of the string.
- Repeat as desired!
More Ideas to Expand the Balloon Rocket Science Experiment
Once you’ve done the basic balloon rocket experiment, you can enhance this early science experiment by doing these additional tests!
- Try different colored balloons! Discuss if color make a difference in how fast the rocket is.
- Try different amounts of air in the balloon. Does that make a difference in speed? Is more or less air better for speed?
- Start the balloon at the other end of the string (lower end). Can it make it up the incline?
- Talk about real rockets and where they might go (the moon, the space station, Mars…). Where would you like to go if you had a rocket?
- Set up two balloon rocket stations and have a race! This works best with 2 adults or an older child to help with the second balloon rocket.
Discussion is key in taking this project from a fun activity to a rad science experiment! Encourage questions and if you don’t have answers- get on Google and research together. You don’t have to have all the answers, just a desire to learn more!
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