Active Time
20-30 minutes
Total Project Time
20-30 minutes
Key Concepts
Newton's third law of motion, air resistance, aerodynamics

Introduction

Soda bottle rockets are a safe and fun way to get into rocketry. If you want to discover what makes rockets fly, this is an activity for you. You can even add different features, like fins, a nose cone, and a parachute to find out how these alter the flight! Try it out!

Credits

Sabine De Brabandere, PhD, Science Buddies
This activity is not appropriate for use as a science fair project. Good science fair projects have a stronger focus on controlling variables, taking accurate measurements, and analyzing data. To find a science fair project that is just right for you, browse our library of over 1,200 Science Fair Project Ideas or use the Topic Selection Wizard to get a personalized project recommendation.

Materials

  • Aquapod® bottle launcher, like the water bottle launcher available from Amazon.com.
  • Open outdoor space in which to launch your rocket
    • Dimensions: At least 40 m (130 ft) long and 40 m wide
    • Ground cover: Soft ground so the U peg to secure the launcher can be pushed into the ground.
  • Soda bottle (2-L), emptied and cleaned
    • Choose a bottle of a carbonated beverage or iced tea, as other bottles might not be strong enough.
  • Water (2 gallons)
  • Funnel (to fill the 2-L bottle)
  • Petroleum jelly (to lubricate the 0-ring)
  • Bicycle pump with pressure meter
  • Adult supervision recommended for grades 1-5
    Materials for bottle rocket design activity
Suggested materials for fins and/or a nose cone:
  • Milk or juice carton, emptied and cleaned
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Duct tape
  • Permanent marker
  • Short piece of string (for the nose cone only)
    Materials to make bottle rocket fins
Suggested materials for parachute:
  • Plastic bag (at least 40 by 40 cm square)
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • String (at least 5 m); should be thin and lightweight, but strong. Fishing line, beading string, or cotton string work well.
  • Scissors
  • Duct tape
    Materials for the bottle rocket parachute

Reviews

|
Science Buddies |
Was this review helpful?
Be the first one to review this activity.
Active Time
20-30 minutes
Total Project Time
20-30 minutes
Key Concepts
Newton's third law of motion, air resistance, aerodynamics
icon scientific method

Ask an Expert

Curious about the science?
Post your question for our scientists.

Free science fair projects.