Introduction: Rocket Powered Hotwheels

Picture of Rocket Powered Hotwheels

Purpose: Ok so my honors physics class was told that we would need to somehow attach a rocket to the little hotwheels that kids collect and break all the time. The information that we were trying to get was the acceleration of the little cars.

Step 1: Gather Your Tools and Meet Me in the Classroom

Picture of Gather Your Tools and Meet Me in the Classroom

Here are the materials you may need as like a basic guide. Some items work better than other and there is always room for a little improvising.
You will need:
- A Hotwheel
- a rocket that is about any power lever from A to E but it shouldn't be too big comepared to the hotwheel
- A small funnel to attack to the car where the wire will pass through (here's something very important to know. You basically want to use something as wide as a regular drinking straw that you can steal from McDonalds. But if you use a straw it's kinda ghetto use the straw melts. So the best thing is to break an old pen and use the shell.)
-  Hot glue or even super glue
- Anything else you can think of that wil attach the rocket to the car and attach the funnel to the car as well. (Duck tape is like a perfect attacher)

Here's like a basic way of putting this together for those people who enjoy instructions.
- Gather all the material listed.
- Try and use a hotwheel with a fairly flat surface. If that isn't going to happen then drill a hole through the windows of the car or just take them out all together.
- You can hot glue or super glue the rocket to the top of the car of your choice. With the hot glue being directly on the rocket my class has figured out the hard way that the rockets get so hot that they melt the glue and fly off the car. So if you can zip tie the rocket or get some duck tape to double in securing the rocket that is a highly stressed idea. (If you only go with glue then be sure to duck and cover when you set off that rocket because the rocket uses alot of force and heat when it goes.)
- When placing the funnel you want the funnal to be the same width throughout the whole thing because when the car goes you don't want their to be friction between the wire and the funnel. What you'll do with the funnel is place it on the car. There are a multitude of places where it can go. You can glue it ontop of the rocket, on either side of the car, or you can place it through the window if that is to your liking. Just make sure that the funnel is secure. (if you use the ghetto straws with some hot glue then the glue will melt it.)
When everything is secure then place the ignigtors in the car and get ready to launch your car on your track. Oh and just for fun check out how much your car weighs cause the car I used that successfuly got data for had a weight of 85 ounces.

Step 2: OK, We Got Our S**t What Do We Run It On?

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ok now once you have assembled your car you need to run it on something. My class was given this long piece of woodthe distance was about 5 feet long and an inch thick. On each end of the plank attack a piece of metal that can have multiple holes in it to string the wire through. We strung two wires through the metal ends so that the car would stay in place. This worked out better for us instead of just one wire or a blocade around the wood.

When running the car make sure that the funnel will work with the placement of the car. For example we found out that cars that won't touch the ground doesn't work too well because the car is in the air and the law of gravity isn't applying to something that is afloat. You want to make sure that the funnel works with the wire and the funnel is wide enough where there won't be any slowing down of the car.

ok so those black upside down 'U' things that we are using are called photogates. If you want to get some or want to know more about them in better detail then what I'm going to tell you then here is a link to the page http://www.vernier.com/probes/vpg-btd.html . OK so here's my short explanation of what these things do. We use them to record the acceleration of the cars when they "break" a laser beam in the photogates. This all allows use to have accurate information about how fast out little cars are going.

Step 3:

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Ok so when you collect your data or just set your car off for the fun of it there is always data for the car. For the sake of my grade I'll kinda give you a little 411 on my results from the car so you know what you are seding off to run. The acceleration and instanttaneous speed caught all of the students off guard. We like all freaked at how fast our cars were going. At the bottom is the speed and velocity of my groups car. There was a slight amount of inertia as shown by the slight bump in the graph. There is such a huge leap in the speed of the car so if it goes flying duck and cover and make sure your hard hat is ready. Have fun with your rocket car because I know I did.

Comments

Johnhall44 (author)2012-07-24

rockets + rc cars LOL

aussie_in_mo (author)2010-01-25

"the law of gravity isn't applying to something that is afloat"
What?? I'm not sure what you're trying to say there. Can you explain? 

I think he means something like there's no friction for the wheels to move against, but i think the action of the rocket on the air would be MORE than enough...

jmn1993 (author)2010-01-23

haha if only i had time.. + rockets and toy cars..
looks fun

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