Push It Out

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In this physics related activity which requires adult supervision, learners make their own powerful water rocket and, with it, explore Newton's Third Law of Motion. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and this is one reaction that is awesome to watch. This is also an excellent activity to practice measuring, recording, and comparing data. It is not mentioned specifically in the activity, but you can also have a great discussion about potential and kinetic energy.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per student)

  • Two-liter drink bottle
  • Cardboard
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Rubber stopper or wooden cork that will fit into the neck of your bottle (This can be per group of students)
  • Hand or foot-powered air pump (This can be per group of students)
  • Inflation needle (This can be per group of students)
  • Thin nail or other thin, sharp object (This can be per group of students)


  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
  • Physical Sciences
    • Energy
      • Potential and Kinetic Energy
      • Energy and Power
    • Motion and Forces
      • Newton's Laws
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, COSI Columbus, 2009