What You Need:
- Rocket balloons
- Balloon inflators
What Do You Do?
- Go over the pdf slides of jet propulsion with the group.
- Give each student a long balloon and describe how we will help them inflate the balloons.
- Go outside and line up students to start inflating the balloons–DO NOT LET THEM GO YET!!
- Once all balloons are filled, begin the rocket launch countdown.
- Everyone lets their balloon go at the same time, and watches to see where it lands (so they can pick up the balloon when finished).
So how does it work? It’s all about the air…and thrust. As the air rushes out of the balloon, it creates a forward motion called THRUST. Thrust is a pushing force created by energy. In the balloon experiment, our thrust comes from the energy of the balloon forcing the air out. Different sizes and shapes of balloon will create more or less thrust. In a real rocket, thrust is created by the force of burning rocket fuel as it blasts from the rockets engine – as the engines blast down, the rocket goes up!