balloon_rockets.gifRocket Extreme: Heavy Lifting Rocket Activity

Before you dig deeper in the key science behind rockets, lets test out your construction knowledge from what you have learned thus far during the Rocket Extreme unit. This will be a competition between teams, so make sure to read the directions thoroughly! You can earn points for your team two ways: furthest distance or furthest distance with most weight.


  • Students construct balloon-powered rockets
    to launch the furthest distance.
  • Students construct balloon-powered rockets
    to launch the greatest payload possible to the
    classroom ceiling.
  • Students relate *key rocket elements to balloon rocket performance.

*Part of a Rocket, Rocket Flight, Four Forces on Flight, Rocket Stability, Center of Gravity,


Each team of students receive identical parts with
which they construct their rockets. Drinking
straws guide the balloon rockets up strings
suspended from the *ceiling. Teams first compete
to launch their rocket the furthest in "space". Then they compete to launch the greatest number of paper clips to

*Can be suspended horizontally if needed.

Materials (per group)

  • Large binder clips (one per launch pad)
  • Fishing line or smooth string
  • Balloons
  • 2 straight drinking straws
  • 50 small paper clips
  • Sandwich size plastic bag
  • Masking tape
  • Measuring Tape
  • Index Card, paper, etc (for optional fins)

Goal: Make the rocket that travels the furthest with most mass (mass/distance).

Background Information

Background information


  1. Divide up into your teams
  2. Receive a material packet
  3. Print
  4. Create a balloon rocket using the materials and what you have learned
  5. Record each test flight (verified by teacher)
  6. Make adjustments to rocket between each flight
  7. Conduct five test flights
  8. Complete worksheet
  9. Compare to class results
  10. Turn in worksheet to teacher