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Straw Rocket

Activity Supplies

  • Large straw
  • Wooden craft stick
  • Pencil eraser
  • 1 large, 7-1/8" rubber band
  • Cardstock or index cards
  • Paper to plan
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors

Specialty Supplies

  • Metal fastener

Activity Steps

  1. Draw a prototype design on paper for a straw rocket. The design should incorporate an eraser cone, straw and 2-4 fins. 
  2. Cut fins for your rocket by cutting rectangles and then cutting diagonally from corner to corner. If time allows, color rocket fins.
  3. Place a piece of masking tape lengthwise over the fin such that half of the tape hangs over the edge. Place the fin on the bottom edge of the straw with about 1.5 cm of the straw exposed at the bottom (Figure 1). Wrap the remaining tape around the straw. Take another piece of tape and wrap on the other side of the fin.
  4. Repeat this step for all fins. Be sure the fins are straight and symmetrical (Figure 2).
  5. Bend the head of the metal fastener so that it is flat. 
  6. Tape the fastener 1 cm from the opposite end of the fins, with the tails of the fastener pointing toward the fins (Figure 3). Do not tape over the head of the fastener.
  7. Secure the pencil eraser to the top of the straw (Figure 4).
  8. To make the launcher, cut 2 pieces of tape 10 cm long and lay them on top of each other in the same orientation so that one sticky side is still exposed. 
  9. Stick the inside loop of the rubber band to the tape so that they are perpendicular to each other. 
  10. Lay the Popsicle stick on the tape so that the tip of the stick is touching the rubber band. The flat side of the stick should be on half of the whole length of tape. 
  11. Fold the other half of the tape over the wooden craft stick and make sure it is firmly secured.
  12. Launch the rocket in a safe space with adult supervision. To launch the rocket, hold the launcher in front of you in one hand and hold the bottom of the rocket in the other hand. Hook the metal brad of the rocket on the top of the rubber band launcher. Pull the rubber band back, AIM AWAY FROM PEOPLE, ANIMALS, OR OBJECTS and flick the launcher forward as you release the rocket. 3-2-1 Slingshot!
  13. Redesign and test modifications.

Official Lesson Plan