Rocketry - Testing Pressure

Lesson Plan    Handouts/Worksheets     WOW! TV Video

Testing with Balloon Rockets

Students should already know a little something about:
- Newton's Laws
- force and thrust

This lesson will review force and Newton’s 3rd Law, while students learn about pressure/air pressure. They will create a rocket out of a balloon and propel it (carrying cargo) across a suspended string/line by increasing the air pressure inside the balloon.  Students will continue their tests by changing variables. (Most appropriate for grade levels 5-10.)
If the students had the WOW! Newton’s Second Law of Motion lesson they did this balloon rocket setup, but testing is different. 

Lesson Time: 55-60 minutes

Student Activity: This activity has students transporting weight (cargo) while attached to balloons across a suspended string. They will consider how balloon shapes and sizes, and cargo weight will affect the speed of the balloon.
They will continue tests by changing variables.

Group work: Students will work in groups of 3-4 students. In order to save time, teachers are asked to create the groups before our Wizard arrives.

Science Standards:
4.PS.2: Energy can be transferred from one location to another or can be transformed from one form to another.
5.PS.1: The amount of change in movement of an object is based on the mass of the object and the amount of force exerted.
6.PS.3: There are two categories of energy: kinetic and potential.
6.PS.4: An object's motion can be described by its speed and the direction in which it is moving.
7.PS.3: Energy can be transformed or transferred but is never lost.
7.PS.4: Energy can be transferred through a variety of ways.
8.PS.2: Forces can act to change the motion of objects.

High School Standards:
P.F.1: Newton's laws applied to complex problems.
P.F.5: Air resistance and drag.
PS.FM.2: Forces • Force diagrams • Types of forces (gravity, friction, normal, tension) • Field model for forces at a distance.
PS.FM.3: Dynamics (how forces affect motion) • Objects at rest • Objects moving with constant velocity • Accelerating objects.