Saturday, February 11, 2012

Homemade Squeeze Rocket Launchers

Tada - homemade squeeze rocket launcher:

Small water bottle
Small straw (comes in a pack of 50-100 for ~$1 in most grocery stores)
Bigger straw (recycled from a McD's soda)
Small sticker

Launcher Assembly:
*Drill a hole, with similar size diameter as your straw, into the cap of the water bottle.
*Cut the small straw down to ~3 inches.
*Insert straw into newly made hole.
*Glue the straw into place (optional).

*Various size straws closed off completely on one end with a small sticker. (You can vary length/diameter, but the diameter of the rocket needs to be large enough to easily come off of the smaller straw with a squeeze of the bottle).
*Nerf-ish rockets (these too are fairly cheap - we found a pack at Fry's around Christmas that we've been using with our other rocket launchers too).

*The launcher works better with one quick hard squeeze.
*Plastic water bottles are poor quality plastic and deform really easily.
*You can blow into the straw to quickly reform the bottle (demonstrated in video below).
*I don't recommend gluing the cap onto the bottle since you might want to stick a long skinny to recover the bottle shape.
*Ultimately it takes 2 minutes to put together, so it's not worth getting frustrated over the bottle.

*Alter the length and diameters of the straw rockets being launched.  Note the differences between the rockets.
*Decorate the straws being launched.
*Give the straws fins and wings.  How does that change the flight of the rocket?
*Aim for a target.
*How high can you launch the rocket to the sky?

Here's a video of Big and Little J launching the rockets.  It's hard to capture the flight of the rocket.  The first launch was the Nerf-like rocket and the second was the straw:


  1. I'm going to try this for my science project. My name is Zoe Bush. I live in Livingston

    1. Awesome! I hope you have a lot of fun making your rocket launchers. What is going to be your scientific question?

  2. can you use normal sized water bottles?

    1. Yes. Normal size water bottles work. However, the more eco friendly design of disposable water bottles means that they don't have a lot of squeezes before you need a new one. I found it works best with the mini soda bottles. The bigger the bottle, the more air you have to move to get the rocket to launch. Good luck!