Homemade Rocket Ship
LEARN HOW TO BUILD A CARDBOARD 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 measurement
- A pencil
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.
Stick the paper onto your paper towel roll. You may use tape to secure it firmly.
Grab a piece of cardboard and the large roll of tape. Use a pencil to trace the inner circle of the tape. Repeat this step and draw another circle next to your first one.
In the middle of your circles, use your pencil to mark the midpoint. This will serve as a guideline.
Align the top edge of the tape with the midpoint and use a pencil to trace the top edge.
Collect the electrical components you’ll need for adding lights to your rocket, you’ll need:
- 3 LEDs of your favorite colors
- 12 jumper cables
Start by placing three LEDs and six wires into the breadboard as seen in the diagram. Each of the three positive (long) pins on the LEDs will use a color wire (blue, red, and yellow), and the three negative (short) pins of the LEDs will be wired with the black wires.
Connect the six wires to the Raspberry Pi. Place any LED color wire into Pin #1, #2, and #3; which color goes in what pin does not matter. Next connect the black wires to any black ground pins in the Raspberry Pi Pin Diagram. We suggest using black ground Pin #9, #14, and #20.
Create a simple PiperCode project to turn the three LEDs “on”. If you cannot remember how to make an LED light up, look at the Blink tutorial in PiperCode. In this example code, we’ve used pin 1, 2, and 3.
Hit Start in your PiperCode program. Do all three LEDs light up? If yes, next extend the wires in order to tape the LEDs inside the rocket. Grab six more wires: 3 black wires, 1 red wire, 1 yellow wire, and 1 blue wire. Remove the LEDs from the breadboard and replace with the 6 wires as seen in the diagram below.
Plug the three positive (long) pins on the LEDs into the color wires and plug the three negative (short) pins on the LEDs into the ground wires. Click Start in PiperCode to make sure your circuit still works with the code. Use the diagram above to check your work.
Finally, if the LEDs light up properly, tape the LEDs inside the rocket’s bottom. Now your rocket is glowing and ready for lift off!
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.