newtons first law of motion working model for science exhibition

This simple rocket demonstrates the basic principle of Newton’s first law of motion, as the rocket remains at rest until an external force (the expulsion of water) acts upon it, causing it to move forward.

Newton’s First Law of Motion

Newton’s first law of motion describes how an object behaves when no force is acting on it. 

For example, rockets remain stationary until a force is applied to move them. Once they are in motion, they will not stop until an external force is applied.


F = 0

F represents the net force acting on a object

Newton’s first law of motion states that an object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an external force.

A rocket can demonstrate this law when using the principle of action and reaction, as in the case of a syringe rocket. Here’s how you can create a simple syringe rocket using cardboard, paper, and syringes:

Materials needed:

  1. Cardboard
  2. Paper
  3. Syringes (preferably large ones)
  4. Drinking straws
  5. Tape
  6. Scissors
  7. Water

Step by Step Instructions:

newtons first law of motion working model for science exhibition
  1. Prepare the rocket body:
    • Roll a piece of paper into a tube to form the body of the rocket. Secure it with tape.
    • Cut out fins from cardboard and attach them to the bottom of the rocket to stabilize it during flight.
  2. Construct the launch pad:
    • Cut a piece of cardboard to serve as the base of the launch pad.
    • Attach a vertical cardboard piece onto the base to hold the rocket.
  3. Create the propulsion system:
    • Take a large syringe and fill it with water. Make sure to leave some air in the syringe.
    • Insert a drinking straw into the open end of the syringe. Ensure it fits snugly.
  4. Launch the rocket:
    • Place the rocket on the launch pad, ensuring it’s positioned securely.
    • Hold the launch pad at an angle, with the rocket pointing slightly upward.
    • Push the plunger of the syringe quickly and forcefully, expelling the water through the straw.
    • As the water is forced out, it creates a reactionary force that propels the rocket forward according to Newton’s third law of motion (action and reaction).
    • Observe how the rocket moves due to the expulsion of water, demonstrating Newton’s first law, as it moves in a straight line until acted upon by gravity or air resistance.

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