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Action-Reaction Rocket!


Source Institutions

    Integrated Teaching and Learning Program, College of Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder

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Action-Reaction Rocket!

Learners construct a rocket from a balloon propelled along a guide string. They use this model to learn about Newton's three laws of motion, examining the effect of different forces on the motion of the rocket. This activity can be combined with other activities to create a larger lesson. Resource contains vocabulary definitions and suggestions for assessment, extensions, and scaling for different levels of learners.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

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

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity

Language:
English

Materials List (per group of students)


  • Plastic drinking straw
  • Plastic bag, about the size of an inflated balloon
  • Paper streamers
  • 25 ft. of fishing line (20-50g weight) or string (nylon [slippery] string works better than twine [rough])
  • Long, tube-shaped balloon
  • Tape measure or meter stick

Subjects


  • Physical Sciences
    • Energy
      • Potential and Kinetic Energy
    • Motion and Forces
      • Momentum and Velocity
      • Acceleration
      • Newton's Laws

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

  • Duren, Sabre; Heavner, Ben; Schaefer Zarske, Malinda; Carlson, Denise

Source Collection:

  • TeachEngineering

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, Regents of the University of Colorado, ©2004

Funding Sources:

  • Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE)
  • U.S. Department of Education
  • National Science Foundation, 0226322

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