A bottle rocket is very simple to design and create
A bottle rocket is very simple to design and create, but the science behind it is a little more difficult to understand. Once you have a perfect model of your rocket, you must be able to shoot it high into the air. The air pressure in the bottle becomes unbalanced with the water, so when the pressure is released, the rocket shoots into the air. There must also be an extra weight in the top of the rocket to keep the rocket in a straight line instead of flying to the side. It is like a balance in the gravity pushing down and the air pressure pushing upwards. This is the same with the fins, whose main job is to stabilize where the rocket is flying but to also help the rocket fly more easily in the air. Our main goal of this project was to make a rocket that was stable enough to stay in the air for a long time and would fall to the ground without breaking.
First, we brainstormed some ideas for the easiest and most effective way to build the rocket. We did not want to have to buy anything, so we stuck to using things that we would have lying around our house. We separated the materials between everyone and met up to build the rocket. We did this because we all wanted to contribute to the group and because one of us did not have the certain supplies, where the other did. We decided that we would use two 2 liter soda bottles for the base, cd’s for the fins of the rocket, and we would use strong tape to keep the rocket together.
After the rocket was built and we all agreed that it was finished, we took it to test shoot it. We were able to test the launch three times which really helped us decide what we needed to modify. When we did the first launch, the rocket flew sideways, which meant that there was an imbalance. We needed weight in the nose of the rocket, so we added some rocks to it. On our second launch, with the added rocks, the rocket went a lot smoother. The rocket went straight up and higher than the first launch, although it stayed in the air at about the same time. We were satisfied with the result of the second try, so we launched the rocket one more time just to make sure it worked consistently. When the launch went well for the third time, we knew that we had a stable and easy rocket.
The rocket had been damaged just a little from the landings of the launches, but they were very fixable. We added more tape for safety and made sure the rocket was not going to fall apart. When the rocket could not be more stable, we knew that it was ready for the real competition. Even though our rocket has no parachute or device to slow the descent of it, we know that it is in a good spot for a straight rocket. The rocket is consistent and something that we put our effort into.
Due to this project, we learned how aerodynamics and Newton’s Laws of gravity work. This project was a fun and creative way to mix engineering into our learning about science, and it gave us a better understanding of how physics work. After shooting the rocket, we saw what our problems were and we solved them. Because of this rocket project, we know how to solve our problems better, design and build effective models, and how water and a little bit of pressure can make a two-liter bottle shoot way up into the air.