Eighth grade students at Marguerita Elementary School recently conducted an experiment for their science class. Their science teacher, Mrs. Tovar, assigned students to construct rockets in small groups. The rockets were required to be designed out of an empty 2-liter soda bottle, and include fins and removable nose cones. The challenge for students was to create a rocket capable of carrying fifty paper clips and stay in the air for 5 seconds or longer.
Each group put their scientific knowledge to the test in deciding how much water they wanted to include in their rocket, as well as how much pressure to pump into the rocket in order to achieve maximum flight. Each group worked together to choose whether they wanted to use only air or a mixture of air and water to act as the “fuel” of the rocket. The load of paper clips would serve as the “precious cargo”. The force of the air or air and water mixture escaping the water rocket was considered the action force and the rocket being propelled into the air was the reaction force, both of which are concepts which were learned in class and applied in the project.
September 20th was the official launch date. The 8th grade classes gathered on Marguerita’s school field, where the much-anticipated presentation took place. The event drew a large crowd as many other classes at Marguerita came to witness the spectacle. Overall, the rockets produced exceptionally successful results. As soon as the rockets’ release string was pulled, they accelerated into the air, reaching impressive heights and exceeding flight expectations. The successful liftoffs prompted enthusiastic applause from the audience as the 8th grade class admired their work with an overwhelming sense of satisfaction. This water rocket experiment was a hands-on activity that allowed the students to not only learn, but also experience the scientific mechanics that power rockets.