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Explore the Challenges

The Challenge: Make fireworks



Now that we have lots of different colors to play with how is the actual firework made?

There are two parts to a firework: the propellant and the effect.

How can we make a rocket?

The basic principle behind a rocket is Newton's Second Law: "To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction".

A rocket firework throws mass in one direction and benefits from the reaction that occurs in the other direction.

Rocket motion

The mass comes from the weight of the black powder that the rocket engine burns. The burning process accelerates the mass of fuel so that it comes out of the rocket nozzle at high speed. The fact that the fuel turns from a solid into a gas when it burns does not change its mass, because all the oxygen needed for combustion is contained within the rocket's fuel. In other kinds of combustion the mass of products is greater than the mass of fuel because the fuel reacts with oxygen from the air.