Water Rocket Basics

Water Rocket Launcher Project Ideas

Building a water rocket launcher is one of the fun Science projects you and your kids can do. There are different ways to build a water rocket launcher and it can be as simple or as complex as you like. The best part of building a water rocket launcher is once you’ve finish it, you may be able to use it over and over again.

If you and your kids are looking into building your own water rocket launcher, here are some project ideas which may help you. They range from projects that are very easy to build to those that are more complex.

Water Rocket Launcher Using Vinegar and Baking Soda

This one is a very simple water rocket launcher which is suitable for kids. The materials needed are an empty soda bottle, baking soda, vinegar, a cork, and a launch pad. All you have to do is pour at least 3/4 to one cup of vinegar in the bottle. Then put a tablespoon of baking soda on a small piece of paper towel which can easily slip into the bottle. Insert the piece of paper with the baking soda into the bottle and then seal it with a cork. Then turn the bottle upside down and place it on the launch pad. Stand back, and watch it launch.

This project should be done in an open area with a lot space. Also, make sure to stand way back because you’re not sure how high the bottle can reach when it launches. You can learn more about this project idea here.

Water Rocket Launcher Using PVC Pipes

This is also an easy water rocket launcher to make. You can even build it in the evening and play with it the very next day. The materials needed for building this water rocket launcher are:

  • a 10-foot piece of 1/2 inch outer diameter PVC pipe
  • 8 pieces of 1/2 inch T-shaped PVC
  • 2 pieces of 1/2 inch PVC elbows
  • 6 pieces of 1/2 inch PVC caps
  • 1 PVC pipe cutting tool or anything you can find at home which can cut a PVC pipe
  • PVC glue and cleaner
  • 2 auto tire valves
  • 20 oz. soda bottles
  • Bicycle tire pump

There are only four steps to finish this water rocket launcher project. First, after completing the materials needed, you will need to cut the pipe into (eight) one foot sections and (four) six inch sections using the PVC pipe cutting tool.

Second, put one of the pipe caps into a vice and drill a hole on top of it big enough to fit the tire valve. After that, insert the valve into the cap from the inside with the connector facing out. Third, take your project outside and glue the contraption together. Carefully apply the PVC glue to the pieces and fit them together. Then let the glue set overnight.

Lastly, it’s time to test the launcher in an open field. Hook the pump to the tire valve then fill the 20 oz. soda bottle with ¼ to 1/3 water. Then carefully and quickly shove the soda bottle down on the launch pipe. Next, hold the soda bottle in place and request another person to pump air into it. Once the air pressure is too much to grasp, let go of the bottle. Make sure to keep your face away from the path of the rocket. You can see some photos of this project here.

Garden Hose Water Rocket Launcher

This water rocket launcher project is more complex compared to the previous one because it has a remotely operated launch abort valve. Here are the materials needed for creating the valve:

  • 2 garden hose quick connectors
  • Garden hose extension adaptor
  • Hose clamp
  • Epoxy glue
  • Sewing pin with a round head
  • Nylon string
  • Tools: Scissors, drill, screwdriver, sandpaper, pliers, blue tact/modelling clay

For creating the base of this water rocket launcher, you will need a rectangular piece of wood, an aluminum frame and a wooden dowel or aluminum tube. For the release mechanism, you will need a garden hose fitting attached to an air hose, an angle bracket, and hose clamps or cable ties. For the air supply, you can choose between a bicycle pump or a car foot pump, or whatever you have available. If you want to use higher pressures, you can use a more expensive compressor. You can find the complete instruction of this water rocket project idea here.

Huge Water Rocket Launcher

If you really want to take the building of a water rocket launcher to the next level, why not create a huge one? This project idea is about building a two-meter large water rocket. There are four steps you need to follow to be able to create a huge water rocket launcher. Here are the materials you need for each step:

Step 1: 6 bottles with no patterns and have straight sides, adhesive based on polyurethane

Step 2: Maxi-flow hose connector 3/4”, hose connector 3/4”, extension joint, hose connector 1/2”, maxi-flow tap connector, 1/2” garden hose 15 feet long, 3/4” garden hose 3 feet long, valve for car tires, valve for bicycle tires, hose clam 1/2”, cable ties, nylon cord 15 feet or longer, aluminum pipe, wooden boards, epoxy, and hooks.

Step 3: 6 bottles with no patterns and the have straight sides, 3 tornado tubes, a plastic plate, spray paint, and air pump.

Step 4: 2 bottles with no patterns and have straight sides, 1 thin-walled bottle, wind-up toy, wire, table tennis ball, rubber band, cable tie, parachute.

You can find the complete and detailed instructions for creating a huge water rocket launcher by visiting this site.

These are just some of the many water rocket launcher project ideas out there. Maybe you can also invent your very own water rocket launcher and share it with us!