It never fails, we mention rockets to a group of kids and we get their best reaction. It gets even better when we say they have to jump & stomp, crush, squash, clump an object in order to make their creation soar.
There are so many versions of stomp rocket launchers. One of them is described in detail at Instructables. The ones we made out of PVC pipes can swivel and point up or to the side.
Ours are always made out of discarded items from carpentry shops and repurposed supplies from offices, including the 2-liter bottles.
We have had so much fun doing these rocket & launcher workshops throughout the years and it is always great to see a new group of students learning about it for the first time.
We guide & encourage them to modify their designs so they can understand the importance of
cones & fins and
weight & size against
constriction & pressure.
But my favorite part comes later, after the height & distance is out of our system.
This is when we come upon ingenuity & variation.
This is when we stop worrying about the tip of the rocket being squashed after it lands.
This is the time to be amused by the sound the bottle cap makes when it hits the floor. And we get to see flying birds or bats, ejected human canon balls, thrown pencils, jumbo crayons, and trapeze acts. Then we get to laugh after our paper puppet flew so high it landed on a tree.
Then we do it all again.