3, 2, 1 BLAST OFF! Kids get so excited about rockets and rocket launcher projects. It is a combination of physics and engineering that just can’t be beat for WOW value! This time we teamed up with MEL Kids to build their Maze Rocket project. And as usual it was a BLAST!
Kids Rocket Launcher
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Ever since we built our first Bottle Rocket my kids have been obsessed with anything that erupts, explodes or blasts off!
So when we saw that MEL Kids had a rocket launcher STEM kit, everyone was so excited to give it a try!
As usual, the quality of this kit was top notch. It is designed for 5 years old and up, but my tweens and teens love building these STEM kits.
Oh who am I kidding, I love building them too!
MEL Kids – What’s in the Box?
With MEL Kids pretty much everything you need comes in the box. The only things you need to supply are scissors, glue and some passionate curiosity!
Oh and a pen! Because their amazing handbook not only provides instructions, but it also includes a comic strip style story, rocket science and space science lessons, and some written activities to do.
My son loved working out his age and weight on other planets, plus a Sudoku style numbers maze challenge. It was interesting, educational and fun, plus it added some math practice to the project.
There is a handbook included with every MEL Kids project and they are so good. The stories are very entertaining and illustrated with fun, colourful characters.
One of the things that impresses me over and over again with MEL Kids and their sister program MEL Science is the quality of the educational experience.
The construction materials are made of wood with quality fixings. They are incredibly durable making them great for smaller hands that are learning how to manipulate and build.
MEL Kids also has an app, so kids can do extended learning through AR (augmented reality).
Rocket Science for Kids
One of the things I personally like about the MEL Kids kits is that my kids enthusiastically jump into building them without my help. They are so user friendly for kids and the handbook makes it easy for kids to follow the instructions. I can sit back and sip my tea while my kids build and create.
One step in this project did cause my kids to hesitate. They needed to pull out some pages from the middle of the handbook to decorate the bottle rocket. My kids didn’t want to damage their handbook! So I showed them how to pull out the pages without damaging the handbook, and then everything was good.
Very soon we were ready to launch! Not knowing how high it would shoot up, and with our epic bottle rockets still fresh on our minds since we did them again just a couple of weeks ago, we went to a very open area.
It didn’t hit anywhere near the height of our Bottle Rockets, but it still was fun making it blast off! Especially because we never knew for sure when it was going to launch. We were surprised a number of times!
The Science & STEM Lessons
In this activity the kids learned about engineering and construction, plus physics. Specifically we learned about Jet Propulsion and how every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
There is an extension activity in the handbook that has kids attach the rocket to a string and launch it along the string. This is very similar to our Balloon Races and was a great way to revisit those physics lessons again and reinforce those concepts.
In this STEM Project our force was created by air pressure. Compare this to our Bottle Rockets activity where the force was created by a chemical reaction that resulted in a build of pressure from gases. It’s fun to compare the results!
The best part is that we can now use our launcher for other experiments and challenges. Including blowing up balloons or creating a vacuum. The creations we build with MEL Kids are so durable, they can be used over and over again. Our Ancient Cannon we built with MEL Kids still gets brought out to play all the time.
So not only are the kids learning from this STEM Kit but they are making toys they can use over and over again for future games, challenges and investigations.
If you haven’t check out MEL Kids or their sister program for older kids, MEL Science, I highly recommend it. Once again they have knocked it out of the park with this Space STEM project.