Rosie Girl Veronica is putting propulsion – a force that pushes or drives an object forward – to work by making marshmallow propellers (or confetti cannons – you choose)!

Propulsion and this project rely on Newton’s third law of motion: that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Be sure to identify the action and equal and opposite reaction that occurs as you launch your marshmallows!

Ready to make this project at home or in your classroom? Watch the video for an overview, gather the materials listed at the right, and follow the instructions below!

Required Materials

  • 1 balloon
  • 1 cardboard tube
  • tape
  • scissors
  • string

Step-By-Step Instructions

Step 1

Tie a knot at the opening of the balloon.

Step 2

Cut the balloon in half below the knot (where the circular part of the balloon starts).

Step 3

Stretch the balloon over the tube (we used a toilet paper roll) so the knot sits in the middle of the tube opening.

Step 4

Secure the balloon tightly with tape.

Step 5

Load your newly-constructed propeller with items to propel. We chose marshmallows, but you could use confetti, etc. Note: you’ll need to adjust how many of the items you load as each item’s weight and size will impact propulsion.

Step 6

Pull the knot as far back as you can without pulling the balloon off of the tube and launch