It’s almost the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing and we’re kicking off this week with exciting STEM activities to celebrate the momentous occasion and engage your aspiring astronauts.
In the first installment of our #OutOfThisWorld projects, reach for the stars with your very own rocket! With a few household items and your Piper Computer Kit, build a spectacular spaceship fit for the bravest of astronauts.
Part A: Assemble your rocket
- Gather your materials. For this project, you’ll need:
- A paper towel roll
- Paper (Feel free to use decorative paper)
- Colorful markers for decorating your rocket
- A large roll of tape or a CD for easy measurement
- A Pencil
2. Apply glue to one side of a sheet of paper. Be sure to measure the sheet of paper you are using beforehand and check if it’s the right height and width to wrap around your paper towel roll.
3. Stick the paper onto your paper towel roll. You may use tape to secure it firmly.
4. Grab a piece of cardboard and the large roll of tape or CD. Use a pencil to trace the inner circle of the tape or trace the outline of the CD. Repeat this step and draw another circle next to your first one.
5. In the middle of your circles, use your pencil to mark the midpoint. This will serve as a guideline.
6. Align the top edge of the tape or the CD with the midpoint and use a pencil to trace the top edge.
7. Cut out the circles and cut out the area under the line you drew in step 6. This should leave you with two crescent shapes.
8. Use your pencil to mark the middle point on the crescent shapes.
9. With the first crescent, cut from the bottom edge up to meet the middle point. On the second crescent, cut from the top edge to meet the middle point.
10. Join the crescent shapes together to form your rocket’s fins.
11. Cut four slits on the paper towel roll equal distance apart and insert your fins into the slits.
12. You’re almost there! On a piece of paper, use the roll of tape or CD to trace the outline of a circle. Cut the circle out.
13. With your scissors, cut a quarter of the circle out. Join the edge of the remaining paper to form your rocket’s nose. You can seal it with tape or glue. Now, tape or glue the nose to the rocket.
14. You’re done! Don’t forget to get creative and decorate your rocket.
Part B: Give your rocket a galactic glow!
Collect the electrical components you’ll need for adding lights to your rocket, you’ll need:
- 3 LEDs of your favorite colors
- 8 jumper cables
- Create 4 double length jumper cables by plugging two together.
- Start by attaching the negative (short) pin of each of the three LEDs to a single jumper cable, the easiest way to do this is by taping the pins together. If that doesn’t work, you can also twist the pins of the LED around the jumper cable, although this may damage the pins of the LEDs.
- Connect each of the three positive (long) pins on the LEDs to one of the remaining three long jumper cables, each LED getting a different cable.
- You should now have a bundle of three LEDs, all sharing a single cable between their negative pins and each having a unique cable coming from their positive pins.
- Plug the shared cable into any of the black ground pins in the diagram below.
- Plug the three cables into three open pins (the gray ones).
- Finally, create a simple pipercode project to turn the three LEDs on. In the example code, we’ve used pin 1, 2, and 3. Now your rocket is glowing!
Amazing work, young rocket scientists! Stay tuned for our next installment of #OutOfThisWorld #STEM projects where we create a launch sequence through PiperCode complete with exhilarating sound and light effects.