Vitek Bottle Rockets

Physics students put their bottle rockets to the test.

The part of science classes that students most look forward to is doing labs or hands-on projects.

In Biology, there are sheep hearts. In Chemistry, there are chemical reactions. In Physics, there are bottle rockets. Recently, Andrew Vitek’s Physics Class launched bottle rockets along the Nu’uanu stream.

The students prepared soda bottles for launch by sanding the body, gluing fins onto their bottles, and securing the head of their rockets. This simple activity was designed to study friction and velocity. One of the decisions the students had to make was whether to use three or four wings. While three wings cause less friction, four wings will allow more stability during flight. The biggest decision students had to make was who would actually build the rocket. The key to having a successful rocket was in the construction. How well the students built their rockets determined how well their rockets performed.

On the day of the launch, the rockets were filled halfway with water. They were then pumped with air and released into the sky. Seniors Chad Kon, Micah Ito, and Kyra Tengan built the best rocket, which rose to a height of approximately 102.9 feet. Some rockets did not make the return trip to the ground; Juniors Danielle Toda, Joyce Lee, Sara Utsugi, Dominque Hart, Kaily Lum and Jase Takimoto, saw their rockets fall onto the roof of the Bessie Fleming building.

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