Blast Off! Rocket Science
Is your child a rocket scientist in the making? Here's a fun activity that illustrates the basic principles behind what makes rockets rock!
What You Need to Know
Aerospace engineering is the branch of engineering concerned with the design, manufacture, and operation of launch vehicles, satellites, spacecraft, and ground-support facilities for the exploration of outer space. One type of spacecraft is a rocket, which is powered by gases that are forced out of one end.
Rocket-like devices were demonstrated about 360 B.C. By the Greek mathematician and scientist Archytas (428-350 B.C.). So while some form of a rocket has been in existence for many years, the science of how a rocket works was first described by the British scientist Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) in 1687. Newton stated three important scientific principles that govern the motion of all objects, whether on Earth or in space. These principles, now called Newton's laws of motion, provided engineers with the basic knowledge necessary to design modern rockets such as the Saturn V rockets and the Space Shuttle Discovery.
What You Need:
- 6 feet (1.8 m) of string
- 4-inch (10 cm) piece of drinking straw
- 2 chairs
- 9-inch (23 cm) round balloon
- Spring clothespin
- Transparent tape