Rockets Away!

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In this activity, learners work in teams to construct and test fly drinking straw rockets. Learners explore how changing the rockets' fins affect flight distance. Learners also practice teaching others in a way that lets others learn by doing before being told or shown how. At the end, learners have a "Rocket Blast-Off Contest" to see who can design a rocket that flies the furthest.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 6 1" x 2 1/2" adhesive labels
  • 2 Sweetheart (smaller) drinking straws
  • 3 Carnival (larger) milkshake straws
  • Pair of scissors
  • Rockets Away! Flight Chart worksheet
  • Roll of masking tape
  • Tape measure


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Aerospace Engineering
      • Transportation Engineering
  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
      • Projectile Motion
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories

  • Model Building
  • Transportation


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, 2002