Velocities in excess of 150 mph in the first 2 meters!
With a plastic soda bottle, a poster tube for a nose cone, and some cardboard, you can create your own rocket. Then just place your rocket on the launcher, fill the bottle half-way with water, use a bicycle pump to pressurize it, and off it flies. See how the shape of the rocket and fins determine how far and fast your rocket goes. The Bottle Rocket Launcher is an exciting introduction to space science for elementary school kids and a great tool for older students studying mechanics.
Activities and uses
A complete set of operating instructions and activities comes with the bottle rocket launcher. Study Newton's Third Law and the conservation of momentum. Experiment with different amounts of water and different pressurizations. An air pump is required and one with a gauge is recommended. We offer the Heavy-Duty Air Pump with Gauge. You can also use the Altitude Finder to accurately determine how high the bottle rocket went. Or use the Pressure Pumper (P1-2050) to pump up the bottle and make it easier to attach fins and cardboard body parts.
The next series of experiments might vary the amount of water used but keep the pressure the same each time. In this case, use a high enough pressure so that all the water gets expelled and the altitude reached. By throwing water in one direction, the rocket is thrown in the opposite direction. The water and the rocket have equal and opposite momentum according to Newton's Third Law.
In using this product, many of the national and states' science education standards are covered. Some examples are provided here. These are representative, however. Check with your state to find the exact standards.
- The position and motion of objects can be changed by pushing or pulling. The size of the change is related to the strength of the push or pull.
- Objects change their motion only when a net force is applied.
- Laws of motion are used to calculate precisely the effects of forces on the motion of objects. The magnitude of the change in motion can be calculated using the relationship F=ma, which is independent of nature of the force.
- Whenever one object exerts force on another, a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction is exerted on the first object.
Note: We recommend using a two liter Pepsi or Coke bottle for the Bottle Rocket Launcher. Some two liter bottles have a taller spout with a bigger diameter opening compared to the bottles we recommend. These bottles with larger spouts will not mount correctly to the Bottle Rocket Launcher.
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