To teach about Newton’s Third Law, make balloon rockets. Newton’s Third Law states: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Think of it this way. If you were standing on roller blades facing a wall and push off the wall you will roll backward and the harder you push the further you will roll.
You need a balloon, a straw, tape and string.
- Blow up the balloon. While keeping the end of the balloon pinched shut with your fingers, tape the straw to the balloon. It helps to have two people.
- Then fish the string through the straw, making sure that the open end of the balloon is facing backward from the way you want the balloon to go.
- Tie one end of the string to a chair or table leg.
- Then let the balloon go. It will zip along the string like a rocket.
Ask the kids to explain how the balloon demonstrates Newton’s third law.
- Learn more about Isaac Newton.
- Try letting the balloon go without the string and straw. Why does it fly all over the place instead of in a straight line?
- Who invented balloons and when?
- Real rockets use the same principle as the balloon rocket. Find out more about real rockets.
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