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Make a two-stage rocket powered by air pressure

Suitable For

Grade 8



Time Required

 <24 Hours



What’s it about?

A rocket is a very powerful machine which obtains ‘thrust’ or ‘propulsion’ by ejecting a jet of fast moving fluid exhaust from its engine. The concept of a rocket is quite simple, but very complex rockets exist for certain applications. For instance, the force necessary to travel through the earth’s gravitational force and atmosphere would require a multi-stage rocket to achieve this.

The fuel from one rocket would run out before the complete distance is traveled and gravity could then still pull it back to earth. In this science experiment we will explore how one can make use of a two-stage rocket to extend the distance that a rocket can travel:

Topics covered

Rocket, Propulsion, Gravity, Isaac Newton

What will I need?

  • 2x CHAIRS

Procedure (Method)

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

How does it work?

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

This science experiment works according to Newton’s Laws of motion. In this two-stage rocket, balloon B pushed balloon A to start. As balloon B deflated, it released balloon A, which released its air in turn, and kept moving. The first law states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The force or ‘action’ of the compressed air going backwards, sets up an equal force or ‘reaction’ going forwards on both balloons. According to ‘Newton’s’ second law, an object will move with an acceleration, that is proportional to the force applied to it. Thus, the more you blow a balloon up, the more force you create and the faster or ‘stronger the balloon rocket should go! (Read more about this in the e-book version of this science project.)

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