STEM-Based Balloon Rockets
Beat those rainy day blues with this fun and educational STEM-based project! Based on the fundamentals of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, our balloon rocket project offers a fun race while examining which property will go faster: air (breath) or gas (helium).
- Balloon Time Helium Tank
- Nylon string, twine, or fishing line
- Assorted balloon colors (different for each child)
- Notepad & pen
- Begin the setup of your “track” by cutting your string, twine, or fishing line to your desired length (ideally greater than 4ft). Tie only one end of the string to an anchor point.
- For the first round, blow up each child’s balloon, sealing them with a clothespin.
- Tape the straw to the top of your balloon at each end of the straw.
- With the loose end of your “track”, thread it through your straw and tie it to your opposing anchor point.
- Ask each child how long they think it will take the balloons to reach the end of the track. Record those guesses on the notepad and let them release the clothespins to make their rockets fly!
- For the second round, fill new balloons with helium and again, seal them with the clothespin.
- Tape a new straw to the balloon and thread it through the track, tying it again to the anchor point.
- Once again, ask each of the children how long they think it will take for the balloons to reach the end of the track. Record those guesses on the notepad and let them release the clothespins to make their rockets fly.
- Discuss which property allowed the balloon to move faster to the finish and why that may have had that effect.
*Tip* you can keep the fun going by making a second, longer track or taping things of various weights (like a penny) to see how that impacts the speed.
Note: Adult supervision is required when using balloons. Please read all warnings and precautions on Balloon Time packaging.