DIY Space: Build and Launch a Foam Rocket
How to Make a Foam Rocket
A foam rocket is a great activity for children of all ages. Younger children will have fun launching the rocket and watching it soar, while older children may be more interested in the science behind the rocket, such as how angles affect distance. Making the rocket at home is quick and easy, and it requires simple supplies that you can find around your home or in a hardware store.
Making the Body
Cut a 12 in (30 cm) section from a foam pipe insulation tube.Choose a foam pipe insulation tube that has a in (1.3 cm) opening. Cut a 12 in (30 cm) section from that tube with a pair of scissors or a serrated knife. You can find these tubes in hardware stores, and they typically have a vertical line scored along 1 edge.
- If you can't find one of these foam insulation tubes, use a hollow pool noodle instead.
Cut 3 to 5 in (7.6 to 12.7 cm) vertical slits into 1 end of the tube.Cut an 3 to 5 in (7.6 to 12.7 cm) slit along the pre-scored vertical line on your tube. Cut more slits spacing them evenly. If you were to look straight down on the tube, the slits will form a + or X shape.
- Make sure that all of the slits are the same length.
Tie a long piece of string to a wide rubber band.Cut a piece of string that is about291⁄2inches (75 cm) long. Thread it through a wide rubber band, then tie the ends together to make a loop. Alternatively, you can tie the string into a loop first, then secure it to the rubber band with a slip knot or with a zip tie. If you are using a zip tie, be sure to trim the excess plastic down so that it doesn't get caught inside the tube.
- To do a slip knot: push 1 inch (2.5 cm) of the string through the rubber band to make a loop. Pull the rest of the string through this loop. Tug on the rest of the string to tighten the loop.
Pull the string through the tube so that it comes out the slit end.Drop the string down the center of the tube so that it comes out the end with the 3 cm (1.2 in) slits. If you need to, secure a weight to the end of the string first, such as a washer, a nut, or a heavy bead; be sure to remove the weight once the string comes out the other end.
- Leave a portion of the rubber band sticking out of the front of the tube.
Tie a zip tie tightly around the front of the tube.Wrap a zip tie around the front of the tube, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) down from the top edge. Close the zip tie tightly enough so that the rubber band is snug and does not budge when you pull on it. Trim the excess zip tie off so that it doesn't stick out.
- Alternatively, cut a piece of duct tape in half to make it narrower, slip it through the rubber band, then wrap it tightly around the tube. This will work great for pool noodles.
Adding the Fins
Cut a in (9.5 cm) square out of a rigid material.Use a ruler to draw a in (9.5 cm) square on a sheet of rigid material, such as cardstock, craft foam, thin cardboard, or a Styrofoam plate. Cut the square out with scissors or a craft blade.
Cut the square in half diagonally to make 2 triangles.Use a ruler to draw a diagonal line going from the top-left corner of your square down to the bottom-right corner. Cut along this line to make 2 triangles.
Cut a slit halfway down the center of each triangle.Fold the triangles in half vertically to find the center, then unfold them. Cut halfway along the folded line on each triangle. Start from the top on your first triangle, and from the bottom on you second triangle.
Slide the triangles together at the slits to lock then together.Hold the second triangle above the first one. Make sure that both triangles are pointing upwards, and the slits are facing each other. Slide the triangles together until the slits lock together. This completes your fins.
Slide the interlocked fins into the slits in the bottom of your rocket.Spread open the slits you made in the bottom of your rocket. Slide the fins pointed-side-first into the tube, nestling each fin into each slit. Push the fins in far enough so that the bottom is about 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the bottom edge of the tube.
- Make sure that the string is between the fins and the foam; don't let it get caught in a slit.
Close the slits at the bottom of the tube with another zip tie.Wrap a zip tie loosely around the bottom of your tube, just below the fins. Make sure that the string is coming out of the hole, and that you have enough to hold onto. Pull the zip tie shut as tightly as you can, then snip the rest off.
- Alternatively, you can use a strip of duct tape instead. Cut the duct tape in half first to make it narrower.
Using the Rocket
Find a wide, open space to launch your rocket in.Outside would be the best, but if you can't do it outside, a room with a high ceiling, such as a school cafeteria or gymnasium, will also work. Make sure that there are no people or animals around that could get hit and hurt by your rocket.
- If you are launching your rocket outside, make sure that it is not too windy. Strong gusts of wind can change the direction that your rocket flies in.
Slip the rubber band over the end of a yard stick or meter stick.If you can't find one of those, you can use another long, thin stick.You can even hold your arm straight out in front of you, and slip the rubber band over your thumb!
- If you are using a measuring stick, make sure that the rubber band is at the front of the stick, with the "0."
Pull the rocket back by the string by about 12 inches (30 cm).If you are using a measuring stick, pull it back until the nose touches the 12 in (30 cm) mark on your stick.If you don't have a measuring stick handy, simply pull it back as far as you are able to.
Aim the rocket, then let go of the string to launch it.Make sure that the path in front of the rocket is clear of any people, animals, and other obstacles. If you want to turn this into a learning activity, experiment with launching the rocket from different angles: 30-degrees, 45-degrees, and 90-degrees. Predict which degree will cause the rocket to travel the furthest, then see if you are correct!
- You can try launching this rocket straight from the ground, but if this is not comfortable for you, launch it horizontally from a table instead.
- Experiment with different lengths of tubes, string, and rubber bands.
- Never point a rocket at people or animals.
- Wear eye protection in case the rubber band snaps.
Things You'll Need
Foam tube (i.e.
Video: Design and Make a Foam Rocket
60 minute commute: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, narrated by Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
How to Make Homecoming Mums
Horoscoop: vrijdag 16 november 2019
Your Dark Chocolate Bar Might Actually Be A Milk Chocolate Bar
Drew Barrymores Top Anti-Aging Tip: Dont Forget Your Neck and Chest
How to Play McDonalds Monopoly
Drifting at 189.5 Miles Per Hour
Runway To Real Life: BabydollLashes
How to Buy Exchange Traded Funds
How to Use Olive Oil for Your Beauty
How to Find a Dermatologist