Bea had an assignment for school in which she needed to create a vehicle that uses air to carry at least 10 grams of “passenger” or “cargo” weight a distance of 20 centimetres. Amazing assignment! And a great opportunity for Bea to expand her horizons, physics- and engineering- wise! Bea decided that she wanted to make rockets with little Lego figures attached. After brainstorming independently and then looking around online for a way to achieve “lift,” she found an awesome “Stomp Rocket” video tutorial and demonstration by Chris at Stoked about Science. Bea decided to use Chris’s model for a rocket launcher as her own, but with a few adjustments: the pvc pipe he used was slightly different from the pvc conduit we found at the hardware store, particularly the 45 and 90 degree elbows. Also, because of the weight requirement, and a desire not to use tape in the vehicle’s construction, her rocket had to be a bit more sophisticated. So, Bea spent some time sketching, designing and re-designing a simple two piece rocket with a shaft and a conical tip which she hot-glued together. Knowing that hot glue is fairly easy to remove from plastic toys, she simply hot-glued some Lego mini-figure storm troopers to the rocket’s shaft. Then, the whole family went off to the park to test it out.
Here are two videos of Bea’s Paper Storm Trooper Rocket and Soda Bottle Rocket Launcher in action in our local park!
Second Shot Goes Wild:
[The PVC elbows she used were interchangeable. By far, Bea found that the 90 degree angled elbow out-performed the 45 degree angled elbow in terms of wow-factor and general height/distance…Although, she thinks this may have to do with the fact that her soda bottle was getting old and cracked by the time she switched to the 45.]
Here’s how Bea made her rocket and launcher…
For more on the soda bottle rocket launcher which inspired Bea’s rocket launch today, see the most awesome “Stomp Rocket” video tutorial and demonstration by Chris at Stoked about Science.