Make a straw rocket

Make a straw rocket

Blast off on a single breath

What you need:

  • Paper - sugar paper or construction paper is best
  • Sellotape
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Straw (slightly thinner than the pencil)

How to:

Cut a rectangular strip of paper about 12 centimetres long and 4 centimetres wide.

Strip of paper

Roll the paper tightly around the pencil and sellotape along the long edge.

Fold over one end of the tube into a cone shape and secure with sellotape.

Remove the pencil and blow gently into the open end of the paper rocket. Is any air escaping? Use more sellotape to seal the leaks.

Cut out and fold two sets of fins using the pattern below.

Fins

Fin pattern - cut along the solid lines and fold along the dashed lines

Sellotape the fins near the open end of the cylinder

Place the straw inside the open end of the rocket. Leave some of the straw sticking out so you can hold it.

Rocket

Blow hard through the straw and the rocket will fly! Don't aim the rocket at anyone.

Get your friends and family to build rockets. Whose rocket flies furthest? What happens if you make a rocket without fins? What happens if you make a rocket with fins at the front?

What's happening?

Your paper rocket flies through the air like real rockets fly through the Earth's atmosphere. Fins help the rocket fly further and straighter through the atmosphere.

Visit NASA to find out more about paper rockets and real rockets.