OK, what better way to spend a summer day but with kids and Bottle Rockets. (creative, exciting, and you might get wet!)
I spent this morning at our church’s VBS with 30 youth and adults building bottle rockets based on 500 ml soft drink bottles. That in itself is worth a posting, but I thought you might want to take a look at an old favorite event making it’s return to Science Olympiad after resting for a few years. Last week at the Science Olympiad Summer Institute in Phoenix, we saw the draft rules for Bottle Rocket B. As usual, the design parameters are a little different than the last time Bottle Rockets were in Division B, so last night I built a rocket using the draft rules so I could test it at today’s launch.
This rocket features a long nosepiece made from a florescent light dust tube capped with a ping pong ball. The nosepiece is taped to the neck and spout from another bottle that has itself been inverted and taped to the base of the bottle that serves as the pressure chamber for the rocket. At the Summer Institute I saw an example that featured fins made from paper towel tubes, so I used three, tapering their leading and trailing edges and crushing their diameter so their cross-section was an oval, rather than a circle. Remember, this is just an example and the constructions rules are still draft and may change between now and the publication of the 2015 rules manual.
But watch this cell phone movie footage and see if this doesn’t “wet” your appetite for Science Olympiad!