Rockets Lesson for Kids: History & Facts

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  • 0:04 The First Form of Rockets
  • 0:29 Rockets Used in Battle
  • 0:55 Rocket Science
  • 1:32 Rocket Scientists
  • 2:18 The Race for Space
  • 2:54 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Tiffany Hightower

Tiffany is a certified elementary school teacher. She has a B.A. in English, education certification and a master's degree in education from Central Michigan University.

Rockets are awesome scientific inventions that capture the attention and have caused exciting scientific discoveries over hundreds of years. In this lesson, you will learn interesting rocket facts and the history of rockets.

The First Form of Rockets

When you think of rockets, you might think of spaceships being catapulted at extremely high speeds into outer space. This type of rocket causes people from around the world to observe in awe as it takes off. However, the first rockets were different than these types of rockets.

The first rockets started as simpler fireworks. The first fireworks were created in China about eight hundred years ago, in 1232. They were rockets designed for fun and celebrations.

Rockets Used in Battle

However, before long, the Chinese began to use these rockets in battles, and then the Mongols started using them also. Eventually, scientists in other parts of the world learned about rockets and began to experiment with them too. In 1420, Joanes de Fontana of Italy invented a rocket torpedo to use in battle. This rocket torpedo was fast and could be sent to a wide range of enemy territories. This invention changed the way battles were fought from that point forward.

Rocket Science

Have you ever wondered how you can make a toy remote control car or toy helicopter even faster or cooler? This is how scientists thought about rockets. Since rockets are designed to move quickly forward and upward, scientists began to wonder about their ability to go into outer space. So they began to think of ways that they could make rockets larger and more powerful to go enormous distances into outer space. This is what we call rocket science.

The original pioneers of rocket science did not have the support of everyone, because people thought that it was impossible and outrageous. However, some scientists continued with their research and rocket science discoveries anyway.

Rocket Scientists

Sir Isaac Newton developed Newton's third law, which states that, ''For every reaction, there is an equal and opposite reaction.'' This helped to lay the foundation for the propulsion systems that push rockets upward into outer space from the powerful thrust of exhaust fumes created in rockets.

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