World Space Week is October 4-10 and is the biggest space event celebrated on the planet. Every year, this week is used to commemorate the contributions of space science and technology to the improvement of humankind all around the world. It is the prime time to educate students on science and technology with space-themed activities!
One of the first things most people think of when space is mentioned is rockets. Here is a STEAM rocket activity from Simple Steam: 50+ Science Technology Engineering Art Math Activities for Ages 3 to 6 to excite your students about space!
Students will make rockets that they can “launch” by blowing into a straw. This activity will introduce the concepts of propulsion and force.
Talk Like Engineers:
- Air resistance: a pushing force that slows things down
- Force: a push or pull on an object; in this case, how hard you blow or push air through the straw
- Gravity: a force that pulls things toward Earth
- Launch: to send or shoot something, such as a rocket, into the air, water or outer space
- Propel: to drive forward or onward by means of a force
- Rocket: a cylindrical projectile that can be propelled to a great height or distance by the combustion of its contents
What You Need:
- Straws—regular and smoothie size (with larger diameter)
- Tape or glue
- Markers or crayons
- STEAM journal
How to Do It:
- Talk about how you will be making a simple paper rocket. Ask your students what they know about rockets. Talk to your students about how aerospace engineers design, build, and launch rockets. You may want to look up videos about rockets and aerospace engineers to learn more.
- Draw a picture of a rocket for your students.
- Invite your students to color the rocket and cut it out.
- Using the larger straw, tape or seal one end so it’s completely sealed.
- Cut the larger straw to fit the length of the rocket and attach it to the rocket with tape or glue with the sealed end at the top of the rocket.
- Slide the smaller straw into the larger straw.
- Point the straw up and blow into the straw to see the rocket take off.
- Encourage your students’ curiosity: Why do you think the rocket falls back to the ground after being launched into the air?
- Encourage your students’ critical-thinking skills: What can you tell me about launching a rocket?
Add more STEAM Elements:
Science— Discuss physics terms of mass, air resistance, and force. Try different angles and designs.
Technology— Try some of the more advanced rocket kits.
Arts— Make a drawing of the launch and landing of your rocket.
Math— Use a stopwatch and measure how long the rocket is in the air from launch to landing. Try several different trials and put them on a line graph.