Make a Balloon Rocket


It might look like we’re having a party,
but we’re actually conducting an experiment! Squeaks and I are experimenting with balloons,
to see what happens when we try different things with them. Like blowing them up—and then letting them
go! Want to join us? Before we get started, let’s think ahead:
Other than balloons, what do you think we’ll need? That’s right! Air! I used air to blow up all of these balloons
around me, just like I’ll use air to blow up this balloon. There. Ta-da! Even though we can’t see the air around
us that we breathe, it takes up space. And when we put air inside of something—like
this balloon—it takes the shape of whatever container is holding it. Now, once I blow up a balloon, what do you
think will happen if I let go of it, and let the air out? Will its shape change? Will it drop to the ground? Or will something else happen? There’s only one way to find out! You ready, Squeaks? OK! 1…2…3…let go! So, what happened to the balloon? It flew out of my hand, zipped around a little
bit, before falling to the ground! And how does it look now? Letting the air out definitely changed its
shape! But did you notice what happened right after
I let it go? It didn’t head straight for the ground — it flew up and around before
finally falling down. That’s because the air rushing out of the
balloon from the bottom forced it to move through the air in the opposite direction. So! If letting go of a full balloon makes
it fly around the room, what would happen if the balloon were attached to something? Let’s see how we can use balloon power to
make a rocket! All you’ll need is some string, a straw,
some tape, and a balloon! And … maybe a friend, or a brother or sister, or a grown
up to help you. First, tie one end of the string to something
big and heavy, like a chair, or a table, or a door. Now put the other end of the string through
the straw. And tie that end of the string to something
heavy, too, so that the string makes a flat, straight line. Your rocket is almost finished! Now, blow up the balloon about half-way, and
pinch the end, so the air doesn’t escape! You might need someone else to help with this
next part, tape the balloon to the straw, like this! Now, prepare for launch! Are you ready? And, blast off! So, what happened?! Well, we just saw force in action! Forces are pushes and pulls, and they’re
what make things move. In this case, the air rushing out of the balloon
pushed the straw forward, making it move. And this doesn’t just work with rockets
made of straws; you can make a balloon-powered car, a boat, or even a balloon-powered airplane
with the right materials! Now, try changing things up a little bit,
and see if your rocket behaves differently. Try blowing up the balloon even more next
time! Do you think your rocket will go farther, or not as far? Will it go faster? Or slower? Keep experimenting with your rocket, and find
out what you can discover about balloon power! And remember, if you have a question about
anything you’d like to learn more about—or make! —just let us know by getting help
from a grown up, and leaving a comment for us below or send us an email at [email protected] We’ll see you next time!

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