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Match Head Rocket

MakerSpace Tutorial: Match Head Rocket

Join MakerSpace Coordinator Clayton and the Wenatchee Museum to learn how to blast an object into the air using simple supplies you can find at home. This rocket might be tiny, but it’s impressively powerful, and leaves a cool trail of smoke. Surprisingly, it’s only powered by one single match head. CAUTION: Kids: ask an adult to help you light your rocket. Find a safe launching spot away from people, animals, and flammable materials. And watch your fingers, the rocket is small, but gets hot!


Wooden Dowel
Aluminum Foil

The Match Head Rocket demonstrates Newton’s Laws of Motion in action. Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that for every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction. The exhaust of the fire product from the burning match (smoke and gas) is the “action” and the movement of the rocket in the other direction is the “reaction”. The action thrust is produced when the match burns in an enclosed environment. The aluminum foil acts as a rocket combustion chamber. Because the opening in the foil is small, pressure builds up in the chamber that eventually escapes as a rapid stream of smoke and gas.

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We can’t wait to see what you made. Don’t forget to leave a picture of your completed project in comments!

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