Introduction: Water Rocket Project
This project was considered the final project and final grade in our physics class. Our project was to build a water rocket that will launch and keep a tennis ball in the air for 30 seconds. Our job was to build the rocket and keep the tennis ball in the air without it hitting the ground. Unfortunately it was a lot harder then it seemed. It took us about 4 trials before we were able to successfully keep the tennis ball in the air.
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: Materials
Materials used to build our rocket successfully:
1) 3 2-Liter Bottles
2) Tennis Ball
3) Garbage Bag
4) Cardboard Fins
6) Duct Tape
7) Paper Towel Tube
Step 2: Model 1
Our first model was a very simple model. All we did was fill a 2 liter bottle half way with water and put cardboard fins on the bottom. We didn't try and put the parachute and tennis ball on this rocket because if this rocket did not work there would be no point in putting on the parachute. We just wanted to make sure our rocket would actually work before we added any new materials to make the tennis ball stay in the air. Unsuccessful. =(
Step 3: Model 2
Now that we knew our rocket would launch we needed to add more materials in order to make the tennis ball stay in the air. We built a parachute made out of a large garbage bag and attached string to the outside. These strings are then attached inside of the tennis ball to attach it to the parachute. The problem with this is we had no way of attaching the parachute to the rocket. My colleague Matthew decided that we would need a cone at the top of our rocket in order for the parachute to launch. The cone was made out of a styrofoam cup. The parachute was stuffed inside of the cup and the cup was then rested on top of the rocket ready for launch. Unsuccessful. =(
Step 4: Model 3
In model 2 we realized that we needed some way for the parachute to release in the air. Instead of using a styrofoam cup as our cone, we took construction paper and formed a cone out of that. We stuffed the parachute in the construction paper cone and rested it on top of our rocket. Our rocket took off into the air, with the parachute and cone laying on the ground next to us. Unsuccessful. =(
Step 5: Model 4
We needed a new way to get this parachute in the air and released. We decided to enlarge our rocket. We took 2 more 2 liter bottles and cut them to fit our project. One had both the bottom and the top of the bottle cut off in order to attach it to our rocket. We then cut the second bottle at the top so it could slide up onto the rocket, leaving the bottom of our rocket the way it was. This part of the rocket was supposed to fall off as the rocket was being launched in order for the parachute to be released in the air and float to the ground 30 seconds later. We went to launch our rocket and it launched very well. Our only problem was the fact that the parachute did not release in the air and shot down inside of our rocket. Unsuccessful. =(
Step 6: Model 5
This model was no different than model 4 except for one key aspect that will help our rocket succeed. We needed some way to get air into the rocket without destroying our model. We put a paper towel tube inside of the rocket to separate the parachute from the sides of the rocket. This will let the parachute receive air and release into the sky. SUCCESSFUL!!! =)
Step 7: Conclusion
After working on this project for several weeks, my group mates and I learned some very valuable things about projects and working diligently. It took a lot of time but in the end we created a successful rocket that launched and kept a tennis ball in the air for 30 seconds.