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Balloon Rockets

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Children are “rocket scientists” as they test their ideas relating to physical forces and launch simple balloon-powered straw “rockets.”

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How-to Video
Teacher's Guide

Provides classroom connections, key concepts, connections to science standards, and additional resources.

Family Take-home Activity

A take-home that can be sent with patrons that wish to do STEM activities at home. These at-home activities cover similar topic areas as the associated activity and could be handed out at the conclusion of a program or left on a circulation desk for patrons to take home.

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Hints for uses in your library This program is very simple, but if you have children with a latex allergy, you will need latex-free balloons. When doing this program with blind or visually impaired kids, there are several options. Before you begin, if you have a variety of colored balloons, let them choose. Every child, regardless of disability, will likely have a favorite color. Some may want to blow up their balloon, while others may want to only let it go. You will likely need to tape the balloon onto the straw, but you can give the child a choice of how they want it taped. Also ask them in what direction they want to be from the “planet” (aka the person holding the other end of the string). They may want to be above, straight across, below, or any other direction from the “planet.” In the end it’s all about having fun (and seeing if your rocket makes it or flies off into space)!

By Lisa Hellman
Wolfner Talking Book and Braille Library
Lisa.Hellman@sos.mo.gov
Related Links Take & Make version
Websites:
Rocket Lesson Plans from NASA
What Is a Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle?
Game: Rocket Builder
NASA's Sounding Rockets
Rocketry Bookmark

Images:
NASA Rocketry Image Gallery
NASA Launches
Rocket and Spacecraft Propulsion

Videos:
How NASA, SpaceX, and Blue Origin's Monster Rockets compare
NISE Network: Stomp Rockets Activity Training Video
NISE Network: Stomp Rockets Content Training Video
Space Shuttle Atlantis Launch
Space Launch System Scale and Power
Expedition 31 Crew Launch
NISE Network: Stomp Rockets Content Training Video
Originating Source National Center for Interactive Learning/Space Science Institute
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Astronaut Handbook
Zoom, rocket, zoom!
Professor Astro Cat's Space Rockets
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Tiny Little Rocket
Projectile Science: The Physics Behind Kicking a Field Goal and Launching a Rocket with Science Activities for Kids
Spaceships and rockets
Science Adventures with Max the Dog
CatStronauts

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Balloon Rockets

Balloon Rockets

Children are “rocket scientists” as they test their ideas relating to physical forces and launch simple balloon-powered straw “rockets.”