DESCRIPTION: Small flying rockets to make out of paper and propel
with air blown through a straw.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Gregory Vogt,OSU
EDITED BY: Roger Storm, NASA Lewis Research Center
- Scrap bond paper
- Cellophane tape
- Sharpened fat pencil
- Milkshake straw (slightly thinner than pencil)
- Cut a narrow rectangular strip of paper about 5 inches long and roll
it tightly around the fat pencil. Tape the cylinder and remove it from
- Cut crown points into one end of the cylinder and slip it back onto
- Slide the crown points to the pencil tip and squeeze the points together
and tape them together to seal the end to form a nose cone (the pencil
point provides support for taping). An alternative to the crown points
is to just fold over one end of the tube and seal it with tape.
- Remove the cylinder from the pencil and gently blow into the open end
to check for leaks. If air easily escapes, use more tape to seal the leaks.
- Cut out two sets of fins using the pattern and fold according to instructions.
Tape the fins near the open end of the cylinder. The tabs make taping easy.
FLYING THE PAPER ROCKET:
Slip the straw into the rocket's opening. Point the rocket towards a
safe direction, sharply blow through the straw. The rocket will shoot away.
Be careful not to aim the rocket towards anyone because the rocket could
poke an eye.
DISCUSSION: Paper rockets demonstrate how rockets fly through
the atmosphere and the importance of having fins for control. For experimental
purposes, try building a rocket with no fins and one with the fins in the
front to see how they will fly. Practice flying the rockets on a ballistic
trajectory towards a target. Also try making a rocket with wings so that
it will glide.
BACK TO THE ROCKET ACTIVITIES
Oklahoma State University