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Up, up, up! – Build and launch your own rockets | Teach with space PR23

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ESA / Education / Teachers' Corner

Languages: English (teacher guide & pupil activities), German, Spanish, French (teacher's guide & student worksheets)

Subjects: Science, Design and Technology |

Rockets are used to launch satellites, probes, and even astronauts into space. A rocket launch is extremely impressive. Thousands of kilograms are burned in just a few minutes in order to provide the force that the rocket needs in order to overcome the gravity of the Earth.

Rockets provide an exciting context to teach pupils about science and technology. In this set of activities, pupils will design and build three different types of rockets. They will launch their rockets in order to investigate what variables affect the trajectory and distance travelled.

The rockets that will be built in this activity include:

  • A simple paper rocket launched by blowing into a straw
  • A more complex paper rocket launched using air pressure from a bottle
  • A chemical rocket launched by a chemical reaction between water and an effervescent tablet


For the bottle-launched paper rocket, you will need to use a 3D printer to print an elbow which attaches the bottle to the rocket. To print this, you can use either: your own 3D printer; a 3D printer at a MakerSpace (or equivalent); or an online service which can print an object from a file.

Download the teacher guide and pupil activities documents separately.

Format: Teacher’s guide and student activities
Age range: 8 – 12 years old

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