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Air pressure and water are the fuel for this high flying rocket.  Blasts off with a watery whoosh and reaches altitudes of 30-40 feet.  Can easily be built and flown in less than an hour.
Tools: 
  • Drill
  • drill bit (a little smaller than a needle valve)
  •  
  • Butter knife
  • Hot glue gun (reccomended)

Materials:

  • 2 liter bottle
  • Stopper (or cork) to fit the bottle
  • Tire pump (just about any variety)
  • Needle valve (as used to inflate basketballs, soccer balls, etc)
  • 1" ( or ), available at most home centers as 2' x8' sheet ($10) - you can also use 1.5" or 2" white foam board insulation.
  • 4 popsicle sticks
  • 4 playing cards (or 2 cut in half diagonally)
  • Masking tape

Procedure:

Launcher

  1. Drill a hole through the stopper and insert a needle valve.
  2. Attach the needle valve to the tire pump.

Rocket 

  1. Using a drill and 4" hole saw, from the polystyrene sheet,  cut out a 4" circular disc for the base for the rocket.
  2. Ream out the center of the base with the butterknife so it fits on the bottle.
  3. Using a razor knife, cut four slits in the base and insert the popsicle sticks, angled slightly outwards.
  4. Tape playing cards to the popsicle sticks and trim them to any shape you like.   An adult can reinforce the connection with a few drops of hot glue.
  5. Insert the bottle into the base.  Some hot glue and or tape can be used if it is loose.

Launch Instructions

  1. Pour a cup or so of water into the bottle.
  2. Insert the launch stopper into the bottle.
  3. Place the rocket upright on the ground.
  4. Ensure noone stands over the rocket.
  5. Pump air into the rocket with the pump - BLAST OFF! 
The Science:
Air can be pressurized (squished) in the bottle to create potential energy When enough pressure is achieved to overcome the friction of the stopper, the water is forced out the nozzle of the rocket in an explosive manner.  As Newton said, every action has an equal and opposite reaction, in this case causing the rocket to shoot skyward. 
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