Rocket Pinwheel

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This is an activity about motion, power, air and Newton’s Third Law of Motion, which states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Learners will harness the power of thrust forces to build a rocket pinwheel. They will do this by making a pinwheel with a balloon, straw and pin. Thrust causes the balloon to spin around in a circular motion. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on Activity write-up only, images are unavailable.]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Model


Materials List (per student)

  • pencil
  • pin
  • balloon
  • Flexible Straw
  • tape


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Aerospace Engineering
    • Technology
  • Physical Sciences
    • Energy
      • Potential and Kinetic Energy
      • Work and Machines
    • Motion and Forces
      • Machines
      • Momentum and Velocity
      • Acceleration
      • Newton's Laws
      • Rotation Motion
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation

Informal Categories

  • Outdoor Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes assesments for student learning:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • TryScience