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Launch It


Source Institutions

    WGBH
  • NASA

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Launch It

In this design challenge activity, learners use a balloon and other simple materials to design an air-powered rocket that can hit a distant target. Learners are encouraged to consider how rocket length, number of fins, additional weight and launch angle will affect travel distance. The associated leader's guide relates this challenge to NASA and lunar spacecraft.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Type:
Activity

Language:
English

Materials List (per student)


  • balloon
  • small lump of clay
  • paper
  • 1 wide straw
  • 1 thin straw that fits inside the wide straw
  • tape
  • target (box lid or paper with a bull's-eye drawn on)
  • scissors

Subjects


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Aerospace Engineering
      • Transportation Engineering
    • Technology
      • Transportation
  • Mathematics
    • Geometry
      • Plane Geometry
  • Physical Sciences
    • Energy
      • Potential and Kinetic Energy
    • Motion and Forces
      • Machines
      • Gravity
      • Momentum and Velocity
      • Projectile Motion
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Impacts of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories


  • Toys
  • Transportation

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

Source Collection:

  • Design Squad Nation

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, WGBH Educational Foundation, ©2010

Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, 0810996

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