Creating a water bottle rocket launcher is a simple craft project for people of all ages. The water bottle rocket launcher requires little time to set up and prepare for, and the supplies are not costly. In addition, it can teach children simpler points of physical laws, such as Newton's Third Law. Whether you are building a water bottle rocket launcher for fun or education, it's a stable craft project that just about anyone can do.
Things You'll Need
- Water bottle
- Air valve
- Air pump
- 500mL water
- 5.5mm drill
Drill a hole cleanly through the cork. Place the air valve at one end of the hold. Ensure it fits snugly and won't come lose.
Remove the cap of the water bottle. Fill it about 1/3 of the way up with water.
Insert the cork into the water bottle with the air valve on the outside of the bottle. Make sure that it fits snugly and won't fall out.
Attach the air pump's nozzle to the air valve. Tighten the nozzle and make sure that it won't fall off mid pumping.
Find a stable wall or chair to set the water bottle against while you pump. Make sure it doesn't interfere too much with the air pump's tube and that you can quickly and effectively pump air into it.
Face the water bottle away from yourself and any other people or precious items in the immediate vicinity. Don't launch in a place with passersby or vehicles as they may be hit.
Pump air into the water bottle as quickly as possible. Once the pressure builds up enough, the water bottle will launch and continue to soar depending on how much water you put into it in the beginning.
Tips & Warnings
- You can perform the same exercise without water, but be aware that using just air means you will need to pump more.
- The type of cork you will need depends on the size of bottle you use. For a 2-liter, you should use a size 3 rubber cork, which you can find in science supply stores.
- Though not a huge problem with this method of water bottle rocket launching, be aware that the water can leak through and get into the pump, making it difficult to launch or even damaging the pump itself.
- Arbor Scientific: Bottle Rocket Launcher
- Science Toy Maker: Building an Overhead Water Rocket Launcher
- "Build Your Own Rocket"; Bob Martino; 1999
- Photo Credit water bottle image by Radu Razvan from Fotolia.com
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