Balloon Rockets

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In this activity, learners will create a model rocket out of an inflated balloon attached to a straw on a taught string. Letting go of the inflated balloon allows the model rocket to be propelled forward along the string, simulating a launch. Activity includes a step-by-step guide with an explanation on the science behind an air pressure-powered rocket. An activity video demonstrates the activity and makes connections with the museum's Space Shuttle Endeavor. A Spanish version of the activity and video are also available.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Model

English, Spanish

Materials List (per student)

  • String (or fishing line, or curling ribbon)
  • Tape
  • Plastic or paper drinking straw, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • Balloon
  • Paperclips (optional)


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Aerospace Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Acceleration
      • Newton's Laws

Informal Categories

  • Model Building
  • Transportation


Foreign language versions of this resource:

Components that are part of this resource:

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Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, California Science Center, 2021

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