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Rippin' Rockets

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Rippin' Rockets

In this activity, learners work in pairs to conduct a series of experiments using a balloon, drinking straw, and paper. Learners record their observations on an Experiment Log and eventually build and test a balloon rocket. During the tests, learners are asked to compare their findings with the findings of their partner. Although this activity can be used to introduce aerodynamics, learners will also learn how to conduct simple experiments and the value of science in helping to solve problems.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Model


Materials List (per student)

  • 2 flexible drinking straws
  • Cellophane tape
  • Sheet of paper
  • Balloon
  • Pair of scissors
  • Rippin' Rockets Experiment Log


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Aerospace Engineering
      • Transportation Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
      • Projectile Motion
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

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


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