Take the family to infinity and beyond: The event celebrating all things outer space

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MILWAUKEE -- It's an event that's out of this world! Dick Knapinski with the EEA Aviation Museum joins Real Milwaukee with a look at some of the family activities you fin at Space Day this weekend.

On Saturday, Oct. 12, the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) will celebrate World Space Week 2019 with its annual Space Day event. From 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., kids of all ages can take part in space-themed activities including:

EAA'S Straw Rocket Activity

Materials/Preparation:

  • 3M 1100 Foam Ear Plugs (cut in half/third)
  • 2 different size straws (non-flex)
  • 7 ¾ ' clear straw
  • 10 ¼ ' red straw
  • String (cut into 1 ½ inch pieces)
  • Clear tape (use 1/2 inch piece)
  • Scissors

Procedure

1. The 7 ¾ straw will be used as the 'body' of the straw rocket. Next, take an earplug and, roll it between your thumb and forefinger lengthwise. The purpose is to get the nose to be small enough lengthwise for half of it to fit in one of the ends of the straw. Once it is in the straw, the end of the earplug may expand a little and this fine.

2. After you have the 'body' and the 'nose', you will need to take a string and attach it to the opposite end of the 'nose' on the outside of the straw. This will act as the 'tail' of the rocket. This is a very critical step because if you use too much tape, it will prevent the rocket from launching.

3. After the 'body', 'nose' and 'tail' are attached, you can load the rocket into the launcher (other straw). If you try to feed the smaller straw into the larger straw, the tail may come out of the bottom. You do not want this because then the tail will be in a person`s mouth (it will eventually get too wet with saliva and fall off). Instead, fold the smaller straw with the 'tail' into the larger rocket so that no tail comes out of the bottom of the launcher.

4. Once the rocket is completed, instruct the group on where you would like them to pilot. A reminder that a pilot is always safe and should not aim the rocket at anyone else. You can choose to have the group pilot their straw rockets in different scenarios to get them to practice how much thrust to use with their rockets.

For example, you could have a tape measure down on the floor and have them see how far they can launch their rockets. A second scenario would be to use a hula-hoop on a stand to see if they can accurately launch their rocket through it. The main purpose would be for them to have several flights and hopefully improve as they begin to get used to how much thrust is needed to propel their rockets. You may have to repair rockets as needed (add new tails or noses).

EAA`S Fizzy Rocket Activity

Materials/Preparation:

  • Plastic 35-mm film canister One film canister and lid
  • Fizzy Rocket Template (see next page)
  • Clear tape
  • Scissors
  • Alka-seltzer tablets (cut in half)
  • Paper towel
  • Water
  • Eye protection (eyeglasses, sunglasses, or safety glasses)
  • Outside launch space

Step 1: Making the Rocket

  • Cut out all the pieces for your rocket (cut along dotted lines).
  • Wrap and tape the piece of paper (body) around the film canister.
  • Hint: Tape the canister to the end of the paper before you start wrapping.
  • Important: Place the lid end of the canister down.
  • Tape fins to your rocket body.
  • Roll the circle (with a wedge cut out) into a cone and tape it to the rocket's top.

Step 2: Launching the Rocket

  • Put on eye protection.
  • Turn the rocket upside down so the teacher/adult can fill the canister one-third full of water.
  • Teacher/adult will drop one-half of an Alka Seltzer tablet (fuel) into the canister.
  • Snap the lid on tight & put your rocket on the launch platform.
  • STEP BACK AWAY FROM YOUR ROCKET & WATCH IT BLAST OFF!!!!!!
  • Wait behind the observation deck until instructed by the teacher to recover your rocket & lid.
  • Repeat the process, but the second time the teacher/adult will fill the canister two-thirds full of water.
  • Take off all of the parts you taped on to your rocket and throw in the garbage.
  • Keep the film canister and lid for next time.
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