Testing Bottle Rockets

This year our oldest son participated in a state wide science olympiad.  He competed in several events including 'Bottle Rocket.' 

Using a 1 liter plastic bottle, paper, and tape, teams of two students built rockets.  The bottle rockets were then filled with water (an amount chosen by the team) and pressurized on a tripod launch.  Then, the student pulled the pin launching the homemade bottle rocket into the air.  The rocket that stayed in the air the longest won. 

On his first attempts (those pictured here), my son's bottle rockets remained in the air for 3 seconds.  Not too bad for his first try.  He went home, modified his design by lengthening the nose and using various papers. 

His second attempt resulted in an increase of flight time.  His top rocket stayed airborne for over 10 seconds.  He returned home, tweaked his design slightly, and made his bottle rockets for competition. 

During the science olympiad, the bottle rockets were launched all day, despite the rainy start to the day.  Our son's team went in the first group.  Unfortunately, it was pouring rain.  Since rain and paper don't mix too well, his rocket did not fly as well.  However, all in all, planning, preparing, and making bottle rockets was a fabulous learning experience!

{He did well in his other events and even placed in the medals.}

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