I run a free summertime activity program for kids as part of my job in the city where I live. So I've got a lot of fun little projects up my sleeves, and I'm always on the lookout for more. One of the more popular summertime activities in my repertoire is homemade stomp rockets. Stomp rockets are great because they are both creative and physical.
There are many versions of paper stomp rockets and launchers out there. They all work essentially the same way: air is forced through a PVC contraption which launches a lightweight paper rocket up into the air. This particular launcher design is a combination of a handful of ideas I've seen, along with a few of my own additions.
I have a basic rocket design that I drew up that uses a single sheet of paper, which I've included in step 6 as a PDF.
Read on, and then go have some fun. (And hey, if you like this you should try out my Paper Stomp Jets!)
Step 1: Materials
For one launcher, you will need:
- One 10-foot length of 1/2-inch PVC
- One 1/2" 90-degree elbow (all fittings are of the slip variety)
- One 1/2" four-way fitting
- Two 1/2" end caps
- One 1" coupling
- One 1" by 1/2" bushing
- One 2-liter soda bottle cap
- Lots of 2-liter soda bottles
- PVC cement
- Hot glue
- White glue
- Cotton balls
- Sheets of 8 1/2" by 11" paper
- Lots of copies of the attached PDF rocket template