We are so excited that American Girl’s upcoming Girl of the Year for 2018, Luciana Vega, is a STEM loving doll! We decided to get a jump start and create a few STEM inspired crafts and activities. Today we will show how to create a soda straw paper rocket. This paper rocket is a NASA activity that my oldest daughter did in school. She liked it so much that she wanted to share it with you and create a scaled doll version.
How cool would it to create these paper rockets while you listen to sound bites from actual NASA missions! Apollo 8 Merry Christmas and The Eagle Has Landed ! We got chills listening to them! We loved that is Christmas season right now and we just listened to the “Merry Christmas” sound bite of Apollo 8!
You will need to print off the templates for these rockets. The kid/student soda straw template can be found here: Soda Straw Rocket Template for Student The doll soda straw template can be found here: Soda Straw Rocket Template for Dolls
Materials Needed: Soda-Straw Template, Sharpened Pencil, Scissors, Tape, Soda Straw
Below are directions for the Student Sized Soda-Straw Rocket
1. Carefully cut out the rectangle. This will be the body tube of the rocket. Wrap the rectangle around the pencil length-wise and tape the rectangle so that if forms a tube.
2. Carefully cut out the two fin units. Align the rectangle that extends between the two fins with the end of your body tube. Nothing should stick out past the body tube! Do the same thing for the other fin unit, but tape it on the other side of the pencil, so that you have a “fin sandwich.”
3. Bend each fin at the line to create a fin at 90° so that each fin is a right angle to its neighbor. When you look along the back of the rocket, the fins should for a “+” mark.
4. Push the top of the rocket tube to the end of the sharpened pencil.
5. Twist the top of the body tube into a nose cone. Measure your nose cone from its base to its tip and record the length on your Data Log. *Tip – if rocket is not flying when air is blown though the straw there is probably an open gap in the tip because it was not twisted tight enough. If so, take a piece of tape to the nose to seal shut.
6. Remove the pencil and replace it with the soda straw. Blow into the straw to launch your rocket! Record the distance it travels on your Data Log.
Now to create the doll sized soda straw rocket! Use the doll sized printables to help set the doll scene.
You will do the same steps as above, but on a small doll scale. You will use the doll sized soda straw rocket template above. We used a cocktail straw. *Tip – don’t cut the cocktail straw down to size until after making the rocket; the full length of the straw made it easier to manipulate the rectangle paper into a tube.
You now have a student and doll sized soda straw rockets!
The student sized soda straw rocket looked so good in the doll scene that we kept it along with the doll sized soda straw rocket. Our doll wants to see how far she can make her rocket soar!
You can decorate your rocket, but be careful not to crush it. Just remember that any colored details or stickers added to the rocket will add weight to the rocket and will alter the rocket’s distance traveled.
You can find out more about this activity from NASA‘s website. More pictures can be found on NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory site.
See here for cool information on NASA’s sounding rockets!
See here for our other Luciana STEM inspired projects!
Great blog post! Thanks for including me! 🙂