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Science Project: Balloon Rocket Car

Never thought you could do rocket science? Well, think again! This project uses the basic principles that send rockets into our solar system. You won’t need jet fuel though, just a balloon. Learn how to make Rocket Balloon Cars!

Rocket Science

In its simplest form a rocket is a chamber that contains a pressurized gas and a small opening, called a nozzle, in that chamber which releases the pressure. The force of the released, which is called thrust, pushes the rocket in the opposite direction of the thrust. The best way to think of it is how a skateboard moves. You push back on the ground to push the skateboard forward. This principle of motion is one of Sir Isaac Newton's 3 Laws of Motion. In fact, it's the 3rd: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Now, knowing all the science behind it, you're ready to make your car!

Materials:

  • Balloon
  • Rubber Band
  • 4 bottle tops (all the same size for the wheels)
  • 1 nail
  • Hammer
  • Cardboard (6 inches by 4 inches)
  • 2 wooden skewers
  • 2 straight straws
  • 1 bendy straw
  • Tape

Procedure:

  1. Take the piece of cardboard and tape the two straight straws to it, one on each of the narrower ends. Place them where you think the two wheels should go so that the car is balanced. Think of where car wheels are under the body of a car.
  2. Take your bottle caps and using the nail and hammer poke holes in the center of each plastic disk. You may want to get some experienced help with this one, because it can get tricky.
  3. Take your two wooden skewers and poke one end of the skewer into one of the bottle caps. Thread the other end of the skewer through the straw attached to your cardboard. Poke the other bottle cap through the other end of the skewer. ***It’s important to remember to put the caps on so that the flat end, rather than the open end, is closest to the piece of cardboard. Otherwise the raised ridges of the open end will catch on the car and slow you down.
  4. Repeat step 3 with the other set of wheels. Once that’s done spend some time adjusting the wheels and axles are straight, this will make the car go faster!
  5. Take your bendy straw and fold the bend so that the two ends of the straw are parallel to each other. Cut the longer end of the straw so that you have an elbow of straw with two sides the same length.
  6. Stick one end of the straw elbow into the neck of the balloon. Take your rubber band and secure the straw in the balloon. Wrap it as many times as will make it tight, but will still allow air into the balloon.
  7. Place the balloon on your cardboard car and make sure that the straw is extended over the edge of the car. This will make it easier to blow up the balloon. Tape it to the car.
  8. Blow up the balloon and hold the straw closed so that air doesn’t escape. Find a nice long runway for your car and let her rip!

Science Project

To make your rocket go faster you can increase the size of the nozzle, where the air escapes the balloon. In this model your nozzle is the size of one drinking straw. What if you used two or three? Or maybe you can think of something else, like a piece of tubing. Get creative! Vary the size of the nozzle and record the different speeds and distances your car travels. This will surely get you a prize in the science fair.

Have Your Say

What other material, besides cardboard, can you use for the body of the balloon car? Share your smart ideas with us in the comments section below!

11 Comments

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F995387411750

What Rocket Should the ChuChus Escape on?

  • A Rocket to Mars.
  • The USS Enterprise is the best.
  • The Millenium Falcon is way faster.
  • Don't run, get the Death Star and blast those KapuKapus!

General In The Forums

SmartSunnyShadow
I wrote this when I was in grade 4. Please don't judge. It's cringy, I know.
reply 33 minutes
SmartSunnyShadow
    I AM Poem   By: SmartSunnyShadow     I am insecure and imaginative I wonder how God’s imagination can be this endless I hear my dad’s screams I see the beauty in the sky I want to go home I am insecure and imaginative   I pretend I’m someone I’m not I feel melancholic I touch my wet tears I worry how people think of me I cry frequently I am insecure and imaginative   I understand the purpose of living I say the opposite of what I mean I dream lucidly and endlessly I try to wear a mask I hope I will fulfill my dreams I am insecure and imaginative                                                                   
reply 35 minutes
Kirsteeeeen
Kirsteeeeen posted in Random:
A dog.
reply about 1 hour
AnnaOfExquizurd
" Hello, Link. Wake up. The Great Deku Tree wants to talk to you! " The high-pitched voice barely penetrated my sleep, but thankfully ripped me from the nightmare. The words, however, didn't register, and I acknowledged whoever was speaking to me with a groan. Complete with me rolling over. Then a light started flashing across my closed eyelids, rapidly; almost quickly enough to give me a moment of epilepsy. It was confusing, because I was facing the wall.... As the light did that, the voice came again: " Link, get up! Hey, c'mon! Can Hyrule's destiny  really  depend on such a lazy boy?! " The feminine voice was louder now--not only because it was shouting. It sounded  naturally  loud. But what in the world did she mean by Hyrule's destiny depending on...  me ? Curiosity made me want answers, and the want for those answers prompted me to roll back over, sit up and the edge of the bed, and sleepily open my eyes. The interior of my house was still dim... it must've been dawn. My eyes widened more than being just open when I saw the blue ball of light floating in my vision... with barely visible, crystal-clear wings. I was being addressed by a  fairy . Instead of being a typical 11-year-old and responding verbally, I straightened up and rested my hands on my lap. My attention was fully on this fairy, the only one to speak directly to me in my life. " You finally woke up! "  her loud voice exclaimed.  " I'm Navi the fairy. The Great Deku Tree asked me to be your partner from now on. Nice to meet you! " I was genuinely shocked.  Finally , I was like every other Kokiri. The smile that spread across my face was uncontrollable... and I couldn't think of what to say. Mido wouldn't be able to make fun of me anymore! "C'mon, he wants to talk to you. Let's go!" Navi called. I hadn't noticed her hover to the doorway, floating by the green curtain that served as a door. I hopped up, adjusted the hem of my green tunic, and put my pointy green hat on as I moved to the door. After exiting, I first brushed some blond locks behind my pointed ears on one side of my face, and then pulled the curtain open and bunched it up behind a hook on the wall, so it would stay open. Navi patiently hovered by my head, lurching downwards almost comically as I descended the ladder attached to my elevated porch. My house was one-of-a-kind; the only one with a porch like that. When I turned to walk up the path, my aquamarine eyes met a familiar pair of sapphire-blue, topped by rich, deep green hair. The bangs were separated from the main body of the hair--chin-length and thick--by a headband just a shade darker than the hair. All of that rested on an eleven-year-old-girl, with pale skin, wearing a more emerald-green sort of vest and shorts. A long-sleeved shirt the same green as her hair was worn underneath the vest, and matching green boots graced her feet. It was Saria, my lifetime friend, accompanied by her lime-green fairy. Since a smile was sufficient greeting for her, I did that, and Saria cheerfully waved back. "Hey, Link! Oh, you've got a fairy now?!" Proudly, I nodded. An excited laugh escaped her lips. " I'm so happy for you! " My already-existent smile widened. "I, uh... thanks. But the Great Deku Tree wants to talk to me. I have to hurry." "He does?" Saria asked. " What an honor! " If it was even possible, her face was expressing more joy than before. "I wonder why...? Wait, you'll find out, hehe. Don't let me stop you! Good luck!" I gave her one last smile, and then started up the brief uphill climb, to where the path branched off into two more. Speeding up into a slow run, I turned right, passing a few Kokiri houses, then shortly reaching the pond. I didn't want to go around; today's events had me happy and energized. So, I hopped across the three little "islands", landing a few feet away from the path between the cliffs that led to the Deku Tree's clearing. Mido was standing at the edge, looking about the greenery all around us, and the surreal trails of light that floated about the forest. I was just about to pass into it when he jumped up and blocked my path. "Halt! What's your business?" he interrogated, in his bossiest voice yet. I knew he was doing this only because he hated me. "I'm going to talk to the Great Deku Tree, of course," I replied in my usual gentle voice. "No. Don't bother him," Mido said in a pompous manner. Being the Kokiri's leader got into his head sometimes... I swear. "But... Navi told me that he said he needed me." "Why? Who's Navi?" he asked. " You got a fairy, eh? Hmph. " "I don't know why..." I answered through clenched teeth. This was beyond irritating. Mido thought for a moment, also clearly relishing my annoyance. "Come back later with a sword and a shield. There's monsters in there. It's not safe." That was probably a load of lies. There were no monsters in Kokiri Forest, period. In frustration, I threw my hands up, and raised my voice--a rare occurrence. Revel in it while it lasts. " Where  in this village am I supposed to find  weapons ?!" Mido giggled. He sounded like a girl when he did, at least to me. "Just look. See ya in a while... or never." I stormed off, avoiding the pond entirely this time, and flopped down against the tree-trunk house right next to the pond with a scowl. The name of whoever owned that house never stuck with me, but he had turned it into a sort of shop a while ago. Which was pointless, because there was no way for any of us to get rupees. Yes, I had a few--ten--but that was collected over the course of my lifetime. Eleven whole years. Navi floated into my line of sight. "Link, your face is adorable when you're mad." I grunted. "Hey... you know the kid who owns this shop? He set a shield made of wood for sale a while ago. Thirty rupees." "I only have ten." "I know how you can get more."
reply about 2 hours
JO16
JO16 posted in Electronics:
laptop definitely cause u can carry it around and desktop is tied down
reply about 4 hours