My kids love anything that they can launch. Paper airplanes, nerf guns, bows and arrows… They like to see things fly.
On one boring afternoon, I introduced them to straw rockets. They balked and rolled their eyes at when I first handed them paper and straws, but after I quickly created one and they saw it fly, they were hooked.
Building Straw Rockets
Straw rockets are the easiest thing in the word to create.You just need paper, straws, and tape.
Start with a 3 X 5 inch piece of paper. You may want to adjust this later depending on the size of your straw. Roll your paper into a tube large enough that it will easily fit over your straw.
Bend about 1/2 inch of one end of your paper tube to close that end and secure it with a small piece of tape.
Place the paper tube on the straw. Hold the straw to your mouth and blow. Your straw rocket should launch!
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Experimenting With Your Straw Rocket
This is where the engineering challenge comes in. Experiment with some of your variables to see what effect it has on your rocket.
- Try varying the amount and force of air you blow through the straw. What difference does that make?
- What happens when you vary the length of the paper tube?
- What happens when you vary the diameter of the paper tube?
- Change the shape of your straw rocket by adding wings or a nose cone. What effects do those changes have on the flight of your rocket?
- Try different weights of paper for your rocket? What happens?
Straw rockets can be an afternoon or a whole day of fun. Let your kids decorate them, have contests on who can fly theirs the farthest, or who can make the most!