Physics Water Bottle Rocket Competition

Water Rocket

Event Description: Teams of two or three people will build a water bottle rocket that will stay in the air for a maximum amount of time. 


  1. Rockets are to be constructed from a 2-liter soda bottle.
  2. The soda bottle must remain intact.
  3. Additional materials such as fins, nose cones, parachutes, etc. are permitted.
  4. The bottle will have water and 40 psi of compressed air put into it.  When the pressure is released, the rocket flies.


Reflection: As a team, submit your answers to the following questions:

  1. Analyze your rocket's motion:
    1. How long was your rocket in the air?
    2. Estimate your rocket's maximum height. Show and explain all calculations.
    3. What was your rocket's maximum velocity? Show and explain all calculations.
  2. What role did friction play in the performance of your rocket? Did it aid or hinder?
  3. Beginning with the stored mechanical energy in the pressurized rocket, explain the multiple transformations the energy goes through
  4. How did undertaking this project improve your understanding of work and energy?
  5. How did you feel about this project when it was first assigned?
  6. How do you feel about this project now that it has concluded?
  7. What would you have done differently as you and your team worked through this project?

Scoring: Scoring will be based 50% on rocket performance, 50% on your team's reflection.


2013 Physics Water Bottle Rocket Competition Video