- Newton's Second Law of Motion defines what happens when
a force acts on an object. The object accelerates in the direction in
which the force is acting. A force acting on a stationery object starts
it moving. A force acting on a moving object will speed it up, slow it
down, or change the direction in which it is moving. The harder you blow
into the straw, the faster and further your rocket will go. The rocket
will keep going in a straight line at the same speed until gravity pulls
- The student will explore how Newton's Second Law of
Motion operates when they make a rocket launcher out of a paper cone and
two drinking straws.
- In this activity, the student will make a rocket launcher and
then blast it off using their own air as they blow into the straw. Even
with this small rocket launcher there is a trajectory for the rocket.
- 10 minutes.
- 20 minutes.
WORDS TO KNOW:
- Gather materials for the experiment. You will need two
drinking straws, one wide and one narrow, scissors, stapler, sticky tape,
and a paper cone about 3 inches tall.
- Sir Isaac Newton discovered three Laws of Motion. The three Laws
of Motion are really three faces of a single idea, which is expressed in
its greatest way by the Second Law. The First Law is easily seen to be
an outcome of the second. The first law states that an object not being
pushed or pulled by a force, will either stay still or keep moving in a
straight line at a steady speed. The tendency of an object to remain
moving in a straight line at a constant speed or to remain stationary is
The Third Law of Motion states that if an object is pushed or
pulled, it will push or pull to an equal extent in the opposite
direction. People are used to seeing moving objects slow down and stop
when the force pushing them is removed. There is a force - friction
acting to slow moving objects. Remove friction and moving objects would
continue to move without being pushed.
In the Second Law of Motion, Newton defined what happens when a
force acts on an object. The object accelerates in the direction in
which the force is acting. With the rocket launcher Newton's Second Law
of Motion is in "motion" literally! When you blow on the rocket launcher
with the straw, the launcher accelerates in relationship to how hard you
blow through the straw. And the launcher continues moving forward until
gravity pulls it down.
Web Hosting Provided By The National Business Aviation Association.
Explore Space ... Not Drugs!
Hear what astronauts have to say about staying drug-free.
Last modified: Tue Mar 24 15:19:52 PST 1998
Copyright © 1997 by Cislunar Aerospace, Inc. All