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Get Creative: Water Rockets

Tuesday 9th May 2017

Try out this fantastic activity and see how high your group can get the water rockets. The rockets work simply by putting water into a drinks bottle and filling it with air, when this is the done the water in the bottle is forced downwards and the rocket flies up into the air (they can easily reach 100ft or more).

Equipment

  • 1l or 2l plastic bottle
  • Plastic coated wine bottle cork (that fits bottle)
  • Foot or hand pump
  • Launch pad (to hold the bottle)
  • Water
  • Valve from a bicycyle inner tube (ask local bicycle shop for used inner tubes)

Preparation

In advance a leader should setup a launch pad, there are several ways you could do this, but essentially it is a way of holding the bottle, neck down at an angle to the ground ready to launch. Ideas could include launching from the handle of a garden fork/spade or a flower pot.

Checking that the cork fits tightly into the bottle, create a hole in the cork and then insert the valve into the cork, making sure it is nice and tightly fitting, and goes all the way through.

SAFETY

The launching part of this activity should be carried out in a large open space. Ensure you check that the area around the launch site is clear, and that all spectators are standing at a safe distance from the launchpad.

Instructions

  1. Using an empty plastic bottle, remove the labels and then decorate the water rockets. You could add fins and/or a nose cone as well to help the rocket dynamically.
  2. Once ready to launch, fill the rocket (bottle) with water, approx. 1/4 full.
  3. Push the cork with the valve into the bottle.
  4. Place bottle into your Launch pad neck down.
  5. Connect the valve on your rocket to the foot/hand pump and begin to pump gently and steadily. Keep going until the rocket launches!
  6. You could try with differing amounts of water to see how high the water rockets goes, other bottle shapes and or designs (fins/noses) to see how this varies the flight and height.
Get Creative: Water Rockets

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