Water Bottle Rockets

Water Bottle Rockets

Description: Prior to the tournament, each team will use 2-liter soda/pop bottles to build one or more rockets propelled by pressurized air and water. Rockets will be launched at the tournament and time aloft recorded. The rocket that stays aloft for the longest time will win.


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Event Supervisor: Steve Rossi and Ryan Rossi


 event supervisor info
 Download the current rules here.  
 See our test of how different glues impact PET  bottles
 Review the Rocket Workshop
 See the Launch Criteria
Designed and Built by The Students policy
more event info be careful
 Electrical Box Launcher Plans (PDF)
Click to see the launcher used at the tournament. 
Click here to read some excellent observations made 
by the Supervisor at a L'Anse Creuse district tournament.
 Watch a short video of the Water Bottle Rocket event
 See the Elementary Workshop List for this season
 Report problems at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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elem faq button web

Must the bottle used for the pressure vessel be clear?

Yes, it must be clear.  Green Color bottle like 7up or Sprite are not considered clear.


Yes, the rule will be enforced.


Other plastic in the rocket does not need to be clear, meaning only the pressure vessel needs to be clear bottle.



Are students allowed to use glue to attach fins to the rocket?

We no longer prohibit the use of any specific glue.  Care should be taken to not compromise the integrity of the of pressure vessel when attaching parts to it.

Will rockets be launched at the tournaments rain or shine?

Rocket launches may be called of due to weather.

See the Launch Criteria on our web stie.

Are students allowed to bring a step-stool so that they can reach their nose cone once the rocket is on the launcher?

We will provide a step-stool so that students can reach the rocket to make necessary adjustment.  WBR station supervisor will also be available to adjust part of the rocket as needed.  Once the rocket has been pressurized, students are not allowed to touch the rocket for safety reasons; again the station supervisor will help.

If the Rockets launch is cancelled the night before, is there a chance they'll change their minds on tournament day?

The cancellation of the Water Rocket event on the night before a tournament will stand regardless of how the weather turns out on tournament day.


It is still possible that if the launch is not cancelled the night before, it could still be cancelled if tournament day conditions become unfavorable, as described in our launch policy.


Teams will not be expected to bring their rocket if the launch is cancelled the night before.

Will parents or coaches be allowed to accompany students to the check-in table, or close to the launcher to take pictures?

No.  Parents and coaches will be expected to stay back in the designated area.  They will also be expected to respect the policy of not coaching from the sidelines.

If my school has more than one team participating, may they use the same device?

In general, no.  Each team that has a separate team number must have their own device(s).



For the regional Macomb tournament, every registered team of up to 16 students must have its own device(s).  A few of those registered teams are the 2nd team for a school, and are classified as an “Alternate Team”.  Two devices from the same school may be very similar in design, but the students who compete are still expected to make their own device.  Every device must be marked with the Team number.  Accordingly, only one Event Team will be allowed to compete with a given device at that tournament.



At practice tournaments, teams are generally allowed to register more than 16 students, and have “Alternate Team Members” compete.  In these situations, there may be more than one Event Team registered for a given event and team number.  Those multiple event teams may use the device that has their team number.  For more information on participation rules at practice tournaments, see the information published on the Macomb Science Olympiad website, or contact the practice tournament director.

What are the height specifications of the Rockets this year?

There are no height restrictions this year.