Try piecing together your own rocket design using triangles, squares and rectangles! Then, see what other designs you can build with these geometric shapes.

› Educators, explore how to turn this into a standards-aligned lesson for students

Image showing all the materials for this activity

Materials

A rocket flies into a blue sky

1. Look at the shape of rockets

NASA uses rockets to take astronauts, satellites, rovers and landers to space. Rockets usually have a pointed "nose cone" at the top, a long slim body and fins at the bottom.

› Explore more rocket images

About the image: A rocket flies into the sky above Bragg Farms in Toney, Alabama, as part of the 2019 Student Launch Initiative. Image credit: NASA | › Full image and caption

A photo of the printed rocket templates

2. Print or draw your rocket and shapes

Print out both rocket templates – the one with interior lines and the one without them. You can also draw or trace (by holding the paper up to a computer screen) the rocket templates and shapes on plain pieces of paper.


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A photo of a person coloring in the shapes on their rocket template

3. Color the shapes

Color the shapes at the bottom of one of the rocket templates using different colors for the different shapes. If two shapes appear to be exactly the same, use the same color on those.


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A photo of a person cutting out the rocket shapes

4. Cut out the shapes

Have an adult help you cut out the colored shapes.


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A photo of a person placing shapes onto the rocket template with interior lines

5. Build your rocket

Use the shapes to build your rocket design! Start by filling in the rocket that has interior lines. All the shapes must fit entirely inside the rocket’s outline. Once your rocket is complete, show your family members.


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A photo of a person placing shapes onto the rocket template without interior lines

6. Challenge yourself

For a bigger challenge, see if you can use the shapes to fill in the rocket without interior lines, or build your own rocket without using a rocket outline at all!


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An artist's rendering of the InSight lander on Mars

7. Get creative

Can you build more designs using these shapes? Look at these pictures of spacecraft, rovers and landers, and try to recreate them with shapes. What else can you build?


About the image: This artist's concept shows the InSight lander on Mars. InSight arrived on the Red Planet in November 2018, when it began its mission to study the deep interior of Mars. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech | › Full image and caption