Before your visit to the Victorian Space Science Education Centre you'll need to undertake some research about ROCKET SCIENCE.
The basic principles of rocketry can be explained using NEWTON'S 3 LAWS OF MOTION and the LAW OF CONSERVATION OF ENERGY. Click on the links, and use library and internet resources to research and create a Foldable project.
Next, explore ENERGY TRANSFORMATIONS and NEWTON'S LAWS by constructing and racing BALLOON POWERED RACING CARS.
In their simplest form, all rockets consist of a chamber enclosing a gas under pressure, with a small opening at one end of the chamber that allows the gas to escape.
ROCKET SCIENCE - Background Briefing
In order to escape Earth’s gravity and achieve orbit, a rocket must accelerate (basically, go faster) until it reaches escape velocity at 40, 250 kmh. Remember the rocket on the Launchpad is travelling at 0 kmh. Let's consider a rocket launch in terms of Newton's 3 Laws of Motion.
A rocket converts the chemical energy stored in fuel into heat energy (and also into sound energy - rocket launches are very loud).
The engines convert the heat energy into kinetic energy, and as the rocket leaves the launchpad and ascends it also gains potential energy (of gravity).
At the same time the rocket's total mass decreases as the fuel is used up and the tank is jettisoned. Unless the rocket is travelling fast enough to achieve escape velocity, it will eventually reach maximum potential energy and begin to fall back to earth.