Rocket Races

And they are off! Using Styrofoam meat trays and balloons, individuals build racers that demonstrate Newton's Third Law of Motion. Pupils run their racers three times and make improvements between each trial. To conclude the activity, individuals record their race data and draw their best designs.

258 Views 285 Downloads NGSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • To emphasize the design process, place a cost on materials and give teams a budget
  • Use the Pop Can "Hero Engine" as an introduction to Newton's Third Law of Motion right before this activity
Classroom Considerations
  • Requires space to run the racers that is about 10 meters in length
  • The Styrofoam trays are not easily cut and smoothed; this will take time
  • The teacher pages provide some insight into possible issues with racers
  • The lesson plan contains a material list for each racer
  • It is easy to lose sight of the concept of Newton's Third Law of Motion