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Teach with Water Rockets

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Students learn about the forces that create motion by launching rockets made from soda bottles!

Looking for a budget-friendly activity to demonstrate the laws of force and motion? Water rockets could be the answer. Classroom tested for high-flying interest, this inexpensive activity makes learning physics memorable and it is suitable for both middle and high school students.

Younger students see Newton’s laws of motion in action, observe how the pressure of contained water propels an object, and learn how changes in rocket design, fuel volume, and fuel pressure affect the altitude of a rocket.

For the higher grades, the activity can be broadened to include use of the scientific method. Students formulate and test a hypothesis, graph the results, and analyze the data. Basic trigonometry can be used to calculate the apogee of a rocket.

Water Rocket Launcher

Water Rocket Kits

Water Rocket Teacher's Guide

Key Concepts

• Newton’s laws of motion
• Force and motion
• Aerodynamics
• Weight
• Thrust
• Lift
• Drag
• Gravity
• Center of gravity
• Center of pressure
• Velocity
• Trajectory
• Altitude
• Variables
• Prediction
• Measurement
• Design and problem solving

Benefits

• Budget-friendly rocket activity
• Uses readily available, inexpensive materials
• Practical
• Well tested
• Safe

Content Areas

Primary: Science
Secondary: Engineering Design, Math

Disciplines

• Engineering
• Scientific inquiry
• Math
• Design

Age Level

Middle School-High School

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