Yearly results posted here
Bottle Rocket Instructions
Yearly results posted here
The Two Challenges are:
Note. A student can create two separate rockets for both
challenges, but only one rocket will be accepted on the day of
A - To keep
the rocket in the air for a maximum period of time.
B - To make
the rocket reach the greatest height possible.
Last week of
School in June
What is a bottle rocket and what does it have to do with science?
rocket is a 2-liter (soda) bottle with compressed air and water released
in an upward direction. It has everything to do with science because we
can use this tool to learn many concepts about motion, forces, energy
and flight as well as the scientific method.
bottle rockets fly?
pressure propels the bottle rocket skyward.
Preliminary Questions to consider:
-Why do we have to use water, or do we?
-If a little water works well, will a lot of water work better?
fly best when it is totally full?
volume of water works best?
fly without water?
did the rocket that was full of water barely take off?
too heavy or massive. This can be explained with Newton's first law
of motion: A body at rest tends to remain at rest and a body in
motion tends to stay in motion.
rocket didn't have enough "oomph" (force) to make it take off. Why?
was not enough force for the relatively huge mass. The more mass it has,
the less it will accelerate using the same force. This can be explained
using Newton's second law of motion: Force equals Mass times
Why did the water go one-way and the rocket the other?
an equal force in both directions. This can be explained by Newton's
third law of motion: For every action there is an equal but opposite
-Fins should be firm; If they flop around they are useless.
-Fins should be adequately secured; duct tape works well.
-The best fins have been made of rigid cardboard such as a manila
-The size of the fin does matter! Remember the paper airplane challenge in which we created planes to fly a maximum distance? In that lab the best planes had long and narrow fins.
A garbage bag parachute will do the trick
Cut the bag, lay it flat
Attach strings in the manner indicated in the following picture
I would suggest that you use 16 strings.
the parachute to the inside of the sleeve, underneath the nose cone as
the following diagram indicates.
"Z" fold, do not wrap the strings around the parachute.
How do you get the nose cone to separate from the rocket body?
Inertia is a property of matter. The more matter (mass) something has
the more inertia it will have. Therefore, we must add some mass to our
The nose cone must have a higher mass to surface area ratio than the
body of the rocket. The nose cone must go through the air easier than
the body of the rocket.
Once the nose cone separates it must remain linked to the body of the
Background: Students will build a rocket made from a typical 2-liter soda bottle. The opening of the bottle must be the normal sized opening (9/16" inside diameter). The bottle will be turned so that the opening is down and will expel water and air downward, thus pushing the bottle upward.
The rocket must be made to fit the following parameters:
There will be one actual launch per student. All rockets will be
launched using the launching pad provided by Mr. Rehak. The judge will
time the rocket's flight. Timing of the rocket starts when the rocket
leaves the launch pad, and stops when the first part of the rocket hits
the ground, when the rocket disappears from the judges' sight, or when
the rocket impacts or gets entangled in an object (e.g. the rocket
collides with a tree.)
The winning rocket will be determined by the greatest time aloft (recorded to the nearest tenth of a second).
second winning rocket will be the one that reaches the highest altitude.
Good luck and happy flying!