Help Build Science Skills: Jet Spaceship

This project teaches kids about propulsion. Ask them to compare their spaceships with real ones shown on TV and explain that the principle of propulsion is the same for both. This can be a fun outdoor game at a picnic or barbecue.

What this activity will develop:
Science and art skills

What you'll need:
• Oblong balloon
• Straw
• Scissors
• Rubber band
• Masking tape
• Nylon fishing line

What to do:
Hint: Stretch the balloon so that it will be easier to blow up
1. Cut the straw in halt Insert one straw section into the balloon, and secure it with a rubber band. (Be sure not to wrap it so tightly that the straw collapses.)

2. Tape the second straw section to the first one.

3. Tie one end of the fishing line to a door handle or other stationary object.

4. Thread the other end of the fishing line through the top straw.

1. Holding the free end of the fishing line in one hand and the balloon in the other, blow up the balloon. Pinch the end of the straw until ready to launch.

2. Pull the fishing line taut, and release the straw. The balloon should glide along the fishing line as the air rushes out.

3. Experiment with the speed of the spaceship by adjusting the lengths of the straws. Test again to see if the balloon travels faster.

4. Challenge some friends to a spaceship race. Use markers to number the balloons. Make sure that each person is standing the same distance away from the finish. Release the balloons at the same time, and see whose spaceship finishes first.


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