Students at New Testament Christian School take to the sky as they test their homemade rocket.
The fifth and sixth grade boys at New Testament Christian School have been working on a bottle rocket experiment. The group began their inquiry during a rainy day at the beginning of the school year. They were interested in how rockets worked, and they began collaboratively to construct their own rocket, taking turns to cut, tape and assemble the parts.
It only took a few days for the students to come up with a well-crafted design. Once the rocket was assembled, the students chose a sunny day with little wind to attempt a launch.
“The students poured baking soda into a small tube attached to a rubber plug and valve and then they poured vinegar into the bottle,” said classroom teacher Rebecca Lawrence. “The boys took turns adding the ingredients, shaking the bottle to build up as much pressure possible to make the rocket soar.”
Upon release, the boys saw the rocket shoot at least 70 feet in the air.
“Like good scientists, they tried many variations of hand-made rockets to see which would gain the greatest height. They discovered that with a lighter material combined with a smaller capacity, like a 20 ounce clear plastic water bottle, they obtained the best results,” Lawrence said. "Through this process these young scientists learned many things about science and working together."