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Water Bottle Rockets

Water Bottle Rockets

Students explore Newton’s Laws of Motion, forces, ballast, momentum, and propulsion. Students design and build water bottle rockets. Students test the effects of ballast, fin design, and percentage of water to air mixture on the maximum height of a water bottle rocket. Equipment and materials include a water bottle launcher, air pump with pressure gauge, altimeter, and materials for building water bottle rockets.

Lesson 1: Intro to Aerospace Rocketry

Students learn basic science concepts related to aerospace rocketry technology. Students also explore the history of aerospace rocketry and aerospace careers. Students summarize the information they learn from lecture and research in a written report.

Lesson 2: Aerodynamics - Nose Cone Shape

Students explore how the shape of a rockets nose cone affects the drag on the rocket. Students build rockets with identical design except the shape of their nose cones. Students test the rockets to determine how the nose shapes affects the drag on the rocket. Students write a report summarizing their findings.

Lesson 3: Ballast - Nose Mass

Students explore the purposes of ballast in a rocket. Students explore how the rockets ballast affects the maximum altitude attained by the rocket. Students build rockets with identical design except their ballast. Students test the rockets to determine the affect of ballast on the rockets performance. Students write a report summarizing their findings.

Lesson 4: Fins

Students explore the purpose of fins on a rocket. Students explore how fin design affects a rocket's performance. Students build rockets with identical design except for the fin design. Students test the rockets to determine how the fin designs affect the rockets' performance. Students write a report summarizing their findings.

Lesson 5: Propulsion

Students hypothesize what mixture of water and air will produce the optimum propulsion for a rocket. Students test fuel mixtures on rockets of the same design. They gather and analyze their data to determine the optimum mixture. Students write a report summarizing their findings.

Lesson 6: Rocket Design Challenge

Students use the information learned in the previous lessons to design and build a rocket to meet a specific criteria. Students test and redesign their rocket as necessary. Students write and present a report describing their design, the reasoning behind their design, and their rockets performance.

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