One class of sixth graders from Southwest Valley Middle School met in the city's park on Monday and Tuesday to finish a project that was started last March. Students had been studying Newton's three laws of motion. "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction" was demonstrated when students designed and built their own pop bottle rocket.
Students researched what was needed to build a rocket out of 2 - 2 liter soda pop bottles. After going through a great deat of duct tape, tag board, pop bottle lids, duct tape, a few other materials, and let's not forget the duct tape, the students finished their rockets. The rocket launchers were ordered from Green Hills AEA. Thank goodness the rocket launchers weren't available until April 4th. Launching rockets last March on most days would have been a very cold ordeal.
Before going to the park, students had to decide how much water to put in their bottles. The water acts as a fuel. The bottles are then attached to the air pressure pump with the water on the bottom of the bottle. It was attached to a stand where about 40 pounds of pressure was pumped into the water cavity area. Each student was then able to pull the rope which released their rocket. All rockets were very successful at soaring. If some students were standing in the wrong spot, they had water sprayed on them. Safety was maintained by everyone standing back a certain distance and everyone wearing safety glasses.
Besides the students, the launching activities attracted attention. A couple of city workers and mothers with their small children enjoyed the show. The students thought science ruled that day!