Friday, November 4, 2011

Mini Match Rocket Tutorial

This is a fun little demonstration for Newton's Third Law of Motion. Since we are using fire, the usual precautions should apply. Fire the rockets outdoors, pointing away from people or pets. Here we go!
paper clip
matchbook matches
wood matches
straight pins
Step 1: Bend the Paper Clip into a rocket launcher.
Step 2:  Tear a match from the match book, and place it on a piece of 1 ½ inch by 1 inch foil.
Step 3:  Fold the foil in half, down over the top of the match.  Stick the straight pin, point toward the match head, along the stem of the match.
Step 4:  Roll the foil along the length of the match.  Make it tight.
Step 5:  Remove the straight pin.
Step 6:  Pull the stem of the match down a little and pinch the head of the foil tightly together.  If you don’t do this, the gases released by the match head will go out the top of the foil instead of the nozzle hole created by the straight pin.
Step 7:  Load the rocket on the launch pad.  Strike a match and put the flame under the head of the match so that it will ignite the match head in the foil and, when the head ignites, the gases created will shoot down the stem of the match and force the rocket itself to fire forward.  (See, Newton’s third law, Repeat after me:  “For each and every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”.)
Ready Aim Fire!
Not a very big fire show, but what did you expect from a Mini Rocket!


  1. I don't know how I missed this post! Super cool! I will definately be coming to you for our science experiments and projects for the kiddos! Edana would LOVE doing these kinds of things!