Homemade Rocket Ship

LEARN HOW TO BUILD A CARDBOARD ROCKET

60 MINUTES

Did you know? It’s been more than 50 years since Apollo 11 landed on the moon!

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 ONE

STEP ONE:

Gather your materials. For this project, you’ll need:

  • A paper towel roll
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • 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

 

STEP TWO:

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.

STEP THREE:

Stick the paper onto your paper towel roll. You may use tape to secure it firmly.

STEP FOUR:

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.

STEP FIVE:

In the middle of your circles, use your pencil to mark the midpoint. This will serve as a guideline.

STEP SIX:

Align the top edge of the tape with the midpoint and use a pencil to trace the top edge.

STEP SEVEN:

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.

STEP EIGHT:

Use your pencil to mark the middle point on the crescent shapes.

STEP NINE:

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.

STEP TEN:

Join the crescent shapes together to form your rocket’s fins.

STEP ELEVEN:

Cut four slits on the paper towel roll equal distance apart and insert your fins into the slits.

STEP TWELVE:

You’re almost there! On a piece of paper, use the roll of tape to trace the outline of a circle. Cut the circle out.

STEP THIRTEEN:

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.

STEP FOURTEEN:

Part One is done!! Don’t forget to get creative and decorate your rocket.

PART TWO

STEP ONE:

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
  • Tape

STEP TWO:

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.

STEP THREE:

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.

STEP FOUR:

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.

STEP FIVE:

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.

STEP SIX:

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.

STEP SEVEN:

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.

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