Name:________________________________ Date:__________

Air Powered Rockets: Student Worksheet

Here's what you'll need for this experiment:

    Here's how to turn these materials into a rocket:
  1. Insert one straw into the open end of the balloon and seal the balloon to the straw using the yellow tape.
  2. Thread the fishing line through the other straw and stretch it between two desks, taping each end of the fishing line to the desks.
  3. Blow up the balloon through the straw, and holding the end of the balloon closed, tape it to the straw on the fishing line with the masking tape.
  4. Release the balloon and watch the rocket fly.

Now it's time to try some experiments:

Measure the distance traveled by the rocket and how long it took for it to travel that distance. Repeat this measurement several times, and each time calculate the speed of the rocket using the equation: speed = distance / time. Record your results in the table below.


TRIALDISTANCETIMESPEED
1______________________________
2______________________________
3______________________________

Now cut the note card in half and tape each piece flat against either side of the inflated balloon before releasing it. Time this flight several times, calculate the speed of the rocket and record your results in the table below.



TRIALDISTANCETIMESPEED
1______________________________
2______________________________
3______________________________


This time, fold the note cards before taping them to the inflated balloon so they stick out from the side of the balloon like flaps. Again, time this flight several times, calculate the speed and record your results.



TRIALDISTANCETIMESPEED
1______________________________
2______________________________
3______________________________

Using the values you recorded in the tables above, calculate the average speed of the rocket in each of the three set-ups.


SET-UPAVERAGE SPEED
PLAIN BALLOON____________________
FLAT NOTE CARD____________________
FOLDED NOTE CARD____________________

Questions:

  1. What makes the rocket fly?





  2. When did the rocket go the fastest and what made it go slower?






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