Puff Rocket

Hypothesize, experiment, collect data and analyze forces and motion with a straw "rocket" and an easily made launcher. The stronger the force, the farther and higher the rocket flies!

Grades Covered: K through 12
Subjects Covered: Physical Science, Earth/Space Science

Curriculum topics:
  • Forces
  • Motion
  • Gravity
  • Newton’s Laws
Standards
Idea Sheets are cross-referenced to subjects listed in the Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards, and California Content Standards.
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National Standards

  • Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object.

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Grade 3 /// Physical Science /// Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions )

  • Make observations and/or measurements of an object's motion to provide evidence that a pattern can be used to predict future motion. [Examples: a child swinging in a swing, a ball rolling back and forth in a bowl, and two children on a see-saw.] "

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Grade 3 /// Physical Science /// Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions )

  • Use evidence to construct an explanation relating the speed of an object to the energy of that object.

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Grade 4 /// Physical Science /// Energy )

  • Support an argument that the gravitational force exerted by Earth on objects is directed down.

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Grade 5 /// Physical Science /// Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions)

  • Analyze data to support the claim that Newton's second law of motion describes the mathematical relationship among the net force on a macroscopic object, its mass, & its acceleration. [Objects subject to a net unbalanced force, e.g., an object falling , rolling down a ramp, or a moving- pulled by a constant force.]

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// High School /// Physical Science /// Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions)

  • Plan and conduct an investigation to compare the effects of different strengths or different directions of pushes and pulls on the motion of an object.

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Kindergarten /// Physical Science /// Motion and Stability: Forces and interactions )

  • Analyze data to determine if a design solution works as intended to change the speed or direction of an object with a push or a pull.

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Kindergarten /// Physical Science /// Motion and Stability: Forces and interactions )

  • Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object's motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object & the mass of the object.

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Middle School /// Physical Science /// Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions )

  • Construct, use, & present arguments to support the claim that when the motion energy of an object changes, energy is transferred to or from the object.

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Middle School /// Physical Science /// Energy )

  • 1.c. The way to change how something is moving is to give it a push or a pull. The size of the change is related to the strength, or the amount of "force," of the push or pull.

    (CA Science /// Grade 2 /// 01. Physical Sciences /// 1. The motion of objects can be observed and measured.)

  • 1.d. Tools and machines are used to apply pushes and pulls (forces) to make things move.

    (CA Science /// Grade 2 /// 01. Physical Sciences /// 1. The motion of objects can be observed and measured.)

  • 1.e. Objects near the Earth fall to the ground unless something holds them up.

    (CA Science /// Grade 2 /// 01. Physical Sciences /// 1. The motion of objects can be observed and measured.)

  • 2.a. A force has both direction and magnitude.

    (CA Science /// Grade 8 /// 01. Physical Sciences /// 2. Forces /// 2. Unbalanced forces cause changes in velocity.)

  • 2.b. When an object is subject to two or more forces at once, the effect is the cumulative effect of all the forces.

    (CA Science /// Grade 8 /// 01. Physical Sciences /// 2. Forces /// 2. Unbalanced forces cause changes in velocity.)

  • 2.c. When the forces on an object are balanced, the motion of the object does not change.

    (CA Science /// Grade 8 /// 01. Physical Sciences /// 2. Forces /// 2. Unbalanced forces cause changes in velocity.)

  • 2.d. How to identify separately two or more forces acting on a single static object, including gravity, elastic forces due to tension or compression in matter, and friction.

    (CA Science /// Grade 8 /// 01. Physical Sciences /// 2. Forces /// 2. Unbalanced forces cause changes in velocity.)

  • 2.e. When the forces on an object are unbalanced the object will change its motion (that is, it will speed up, slow down, or change direction).

    (CA Science /// Grade 8 /// 01. Physical Sciences /// 2. Forces /// 2. Unbalanced forces cause changes in velocity.)

  • 2.f. The greater the mass of an object the more force is needed to achieve the same change in motion.

    (CA Science /// Grade 8 /// 01. Physical Sciences /// 2. Forces /// 2. Unbalanced forces cause changes in velocity.)

  • 1.b. When forces are balanced no acceleration occurs, and thus an object continues to move at a constant speed or stays at rest (Newton's First Law).

    (CA Science /// Grade 9-12 /// 01. Physics /// 1. Motion and Forces /// 1. Newton's laws predict the motion of most objects.)

  • 1.d. When one object exerts a force on a second object, the second object always exerts a force of equal magnitude and opposite direction. (Newton's Third Law).

    (CA Science /// Grade 9-12 /// 01. Physics /// 1. Motion and Forces /// 1. Newton's laws predict the motion of most objects.)

  • 1.e. The relationship between the universal law of gravitation and the effect of gravity on an object at the surface of the Earth.

    (CA Science /// Grade 9-12 /// 01. Physics /// 1. Motion and Forces /// 1. Newton's laws predict the motion of most objects.)


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