AP calculus conducts a bottle rocket experiment: Photo of the Day 6/13/19


Madeline Williamson

Mr. Eckard pumps a student’s bottle rocket with air.

by Julie Walker and Madeline Williamson

Mr. Will Eckard, Linganore’s AP Calculus teacher conducted a bottle rocket experiment during the week of June 3.  After the AP test, the class has been doing multiple engineering based activities. Before this project, the class was building bridges geared to hold the most weight.

The materials that the students are allowed to use are soda bottles, glue, tape, clay,  and cardboard. The procedure that the students have to do to get their bottle rocket in the air is to fill the soda bottle to the halfway mark with water and then use a bicycle pump to fill the bottle the rest of the way with pressurized air, which rises above the water due to density. When released, the pressurized air attempts to match the pressure of the air outside by expanding and pushing out the water. The opposite force of the water being pushed out causes the rocket to rise.

The teams with the best results were Ethan Hart and Gerald Fattah. Their rocket was able to reach the height of the school building.

Competitor Val McNeill said “I thought this project was a fun way to wrap up the year. My bottle rocket struggled to make it to the air the first launch but was golden the second time around. Although this project was a challenge, I still had a great time!”

Jack Rich, Member of The Class of 2020 said, “My rocket was a failure and wasn’t able to launch. I thought that the project was still very fun and put our engineering skills to the test.”