Lifelong Learning Programme

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Title of the Experience
Multistage balloon
Name of the teacher
Aleksandar Angelov (center for creative education)
Country where it took place
School typology
High Secondary School
Thematic Area
Maths, Physics, Technology
Experience typology
Teaching in class, Extracurricular activity
Type of contact
Description of the Experience
Objective: To demonstrate how the multistage rockets act.
Scientific standards:
-Science as research
-Physics - position and motion of objects
-Science and technology - skills for technological project.

Scientific process skills:
Drawing conclusions
Development of models.
Description: Two inflated balloons are connected in a way that simulates a multistage rocket. Slipping the cord the balloons are launched by the thrust of the released air.

Materials and tools:
2 long party balloons
Fishing cord
2 plastic straws
1 styrofoam cup
Paper tape
Measuring tape

• Thread the cord through the two straws. Stretch the cord across the room and secure the edges. Let the cord sufficiently high, so that to pass freely under it.
• Cut the cup into two, so that its edge to form a circle.
• Loosen pre-inflated balloons. Inflate the first balloon at ¾ of its volume and squeeze tight its end and thread it through the cup circle. Let someone helps you until you inflate the second balloon. Thread the front end of the second balloon through the circle. When second balloon is inflated it will press the opening of the first balloon and will keep it closed. Perhaps you will need to try this several times previously.
• Place the balloons at the end of the cord and stick to them a straw.
• If you want do the countdown and release the second balloon. The vented air should repel balloons and they should start slipping by the cord. When the air of the first balloon finishes the second balloon will release and it will continue the slipping.
• The teacher evaluates the performance of the teams according to the evaluation table.

Space travel requires huge amounts of energy. Much of this energy is used to lift units of the rocket that will be used in later stages of its flight. In order to avoid
technical problems and because of the high cost of building of a huge one unit rocket that is possible to soar into space, all nations who send rockets into space have decided to use a rocketry that is invented in the 16th century by the manufacturer of fireworks Johann Shmidlap. In order to achieve great heights, Shmidlap attached small rockets to larger ones. When large rockets used up the smaller ones soared even higher. Shmidlap called this invention "step rocket".
NASA uses the invention of Shmidlap as "multistaged". Large rocket on the first stage carries out small rockets on the next stage for the first few minutes of flight. When the first stage rocket is used up, it is released to return to Earth. Thus the multistage rockets are more efficient and they can reach greater height simply because there is no need to carry the exhausted engines and the empty fuel containers. Space rockets are often designed with three or four stages, where the engines ignite sequentially and shoot load into space.

Comments on this Teachers Experience

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Date: 2014.11.02

Posted by Massimo Amato (Italy)

This experience could be very interesting for the students, because we can explain the difference to fly in the atmosfere and in the space, they can see how the rocket has the energy necessary to go and the importance of multistage. Also a 16th century invention is very importance in the 20th.
Probably we can make it in all our class because there are no sort of problems.


Dissemination Seminar in Florence

31 October 2015 The seminar has been held in ITIS “A. Meucci” one of the schools involved within Goerudio project activities. Its main aim was to promote the results of the project toward a broad sample of stakeholders even overcrossing the number of people directly involved in the production of project outcomes. This purpose has been totally achieved especially thanks to the participation of students and teachers coming from different schools or from other classes instead of those ones directly involved within the project activities.