ROCKET LAUNCHER WITH LAUNCH PAD

INTERDISCIPLINARY TOPICS - CREATIVE CRAFT/GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

From year 2 (blow tube), year 4 (with shooting ramp) - Working time: approximately 1 to 2 double lessons

TASK AND MOTIVATION

Rockets have fascinated children and young people since their invention. The excitement of the countdown at the start, the hissing fire tail on lift-off, the allure of the endless vastness of the universe, the moment when the rocket enters the atmosphere when returning to Earth: No further motivation is needed when it comes to making a rocket model which actually lifts off from its ramp and goes as high as a building. When building the model presented and during the first flight attempts, the students learn a lot about the flight characteristics of their rocket and about gravity in a practical experiment. They will, for example, quickly learn that a rocket requires stabilisers to fly well and fly pointed downwards. The air show is a widely acclaimed event during break or during a day of hiking.

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LEARNING PRIORITIES

  • Year 2: Create an air vehicle
  • Year 4: Create a flying machine with drive
  • Flying qualities, gravity
  • Fun & games at breaktime (active break recuperation)
  • Exact cutting and clean glueing

To transport its weight into the air, the rocket must overcome the gravitational pull of the Earth. Our "drive jet" is a plastic bottle filled with air. Striking the bottle hard with your foot suddenly pushes its air content into the tube, which shoots the rocket into the air.

ROCKET
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Material and resources

Rocket

  • Coloured paper (120 to 130 g/m²)
  • 4 strips photo card (300 g/m²) or coloured card (150 to 180 g/m²) 17 cm x 7 cm
  • Disc from photo card, 7 cm diameter
  • Pencil
  • Felt-tip pen in black
  • Ruler
  • Set square
  • Compass
  • Scissors
  • UHU All Purpose Adhesive
  • Rubber rings, clothes pegs
  • Rollafix Transparent
  • If necessary, ruffle tape, glitter, etc. for decorations

Starting ramp

  • PET mineral water bottle, 1.5 l 
  • Rigid insulating tube made of PVC (cable protection), 2 m, 20 mm diameter, in 2 sections of 45 cm for each ramp 
  • Push-fit elbow 90° for connecting rigid insulating tube 
  • Mitre saw with mitre box, standard 10-tooth-per-inch (TPI) wood blade 
  • Duct tape
  • Wood slat sections: 
  • 1 piece 30 cm x 5 cm x 2 cm 
  • 2 pieces 14 cm x 5 cm x 2 cm 
  • 1 piece 10 cm x 5 cm x 2 cm 
  • UHU Wood Glue
  • Screw cap, brush 
  • Glue press

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Step-by-step plan

Rocket
ROCKET

Step 1

Using the set square, draw and cut a square with a side length of 30 cm on the coloured paper.

ROCKET

Step 2

Wrap the coloured paper square around the insulating tube and glue together with UHU All Purpose Adhesive so that a paper tube is formed. Tips: Before wrapping, pull the square on the edge of the table, this makes it roll easier. Do not wrap too tightly, the tubes must later be easy to separate from the isolation tube. Fix the tubes with rubber rings until the adhesive is dry.

ROCKET

Step 3

For the stabilisers, cut rectangles of 7 cm x 17 cm from photo or coloured card.

ROCKET

Step 4

Fold each rectangle lengthwise in the middle.

ROCKET

Step 5

Fold the upper edge 5 mm downwards, also on the reverse side.

ROCKET

Step 6

With the exception of the 5 mm wide strip, stick the paper surfaces together flat using UHU All Purpose Adhesive. Allow to dry.

ROCKET

Step 7

Cut a corner away.

ROCKET

Step 8

Apply UHU All Purpose Adhesive coat to the side margins and glue the stabilisers, making sure to spread evenly, either with the bottom edge of the tubes flush or from below overlapping the tubes. Tip: Partner work!

ROCKET

Step 9

For the rocket tip, draw and cut a circle of 7 cm diameter on photo card using the compass. Cut away a quarter. Stick the three-quarter circle in a cone shape. Fix the glueing point with a clothes peg until it is dry.

ROCKET

Step 10

Glue the top onto the tubes with UHU All Purpose Adhesive and strengthen the glue surface with UHU film transparent.

ROCKET

Step 11

Decorate the rocket.

ROCKET

Tip: Partnerwork

Launching pad
ROCKET

Step 1

Glue the wooden parts of the figure to each other with UHU Wood Glue so that an opening remains in the middle through which the insulating tube fits. Fix with glue press.

ROCKET

Step 2

Stick the end of the insulation tube approx. 2 cm into the PET bottle, hold firm and wrap duct tape tightly around the tube and bottle neck.

ROCKET

Step 3

Put the other end of the tube through the wood frame, attach the push-fit elbow and the second tube.

ROCKET

Step 4

Put the rocket on the tube. A powerful strike to the bottle and it flies!

Siegfried Herrmann

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©2016 UHU GmbH & Co. KG, Bühl (Baden) and Elke Fox. Photo page 3 below: Siegfried Herrmann. Photo of the rocket page 4 below: DLR, CC-BY 3.0. Editors, illustrations and other photos: Elke Fox.