How to make a homemade rocket

Written by chelsea fitzgerald
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How to make a homemade rocket
Aluminium foil can make an effective homemade rocket. (wrinkled foil image by Igor Zhorov from Fotolia.com)

Making a homemade rocket does not have to be complicated. Discovering the trick to making a rocket launch is an enjoyable craft experience for parents and children alike. Homemade rockets are an educational project that will teach everyone involved a little bit about science and gases. Only a few common supplies are needed to make a toy rocket that may travel as far as 3 to 6 m (10 to 20 feet). Considering that this is approximately 150 times the length of the homemade rocket, according to the Easy Fun School website, it is an effective learning tool.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Aluminium foil
  • Scissors
  • Box of matches
  • Paper clip
  • Small piece of thin cardboard
  • Pin

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Cut a strip of aluminium foil so that it is approximately 2.5 x 7.5 cm (1 x 3 inches).

  2. 2

    Break off a wooden match head so that there is almost no wood except on the match head.

  3. 3

    Place the match head onto one end of the aluminium foil; make sure the match head is facing towards you and not the wood or paper.

  4. 4

    Wrap the side of the foil over the top of the match head and continue rolling to make a narrow tube. Keep the match head facing towards you.

  5. 5

    Insert an unfolded end of a paper clip into the end of the tube that has the match head and make sure it touches it. Press the foil together so that everything will remain in contact with each other.

  6. 6

    Bend the foil over the paper clip and match head another time or two so that it is securely held together.

  7. 7

    Twist the end away from you tightly, but avoid tearing the foil. Cut off any excess foil at this end, this will help your rocket go farther.

  8. 8

    Stick a straight pin through a thin small piece of cardboard so that it is at a 45-degree angle.

  9. 9

    Stick the rocket onto the straight pin and make sure it is not pointed toward a person or building

  10. 10

    Strike another match or use a lighter to heat the end of the paper clip. Once the paper clip gets extremely hot, it will ignite the match head and the gases will have nowhere to escape, except through the hole you made with the straight pin. This will force the rocket to launch and fly into the air.

Tips and warnings

  • Your family can each make their own rocket and have a contest to see which one goes furthest, but only light them one at a time to avoid injury.

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