Sunday, October 21, 2012

Balloon Rocket Lesson

Balloon Rockets

An Inquiry Lesson

This fun and engaging STEM engineering lesson was focused on variables. 

Students were given vague instructions on creating a balloon rocket that would travel 5 meters across the room quickly.   Students had 15 minutes to construct their device.   Some students added weight, gravity or other items to increase their speed.

They were told to thread the straw with a string (different types of string, fishing wire, yarn were available), attach a balloon to the straw with tape, blow up the balloon and release to make it travel along the string for five meters.   They were allowed to test and retest their strategies and adjust the materials or circumstances to get the fastest balloon rocket.

Creating diagrams is a great way for students to demonstrate their understanding.


After the activity, we reviewed and reflected.  As an extension, we added information about Newton's laws of motion.   The information added was built on the experience and vocabulary was also developed based on the activity.

Great activity.   Students chose for themselves how to write it up in their notebooks.   

 Or you can get the entire unit complete with Interactive Notebook folds in this unit