Soda Pop Can Hero Engine

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In this demonstration/activity, water streaming through holes in the bottom of a suspended soda pop can causes the can to rotate. The Soda Pop Can Hero Engine is an excellent demonstration of Newton's Laws of Motion. Learners can also compare the rate of rotation with different numbers of holes (4 vs. 2) and different diameters of holes (large vs. small). This activity is an introductory activity related to rocketry principles, but can be used more broadly for general physics lessons. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Empty soda pop can with the opener lever intact
  • Nail or ice pick
  • Fishing line
  • Bucket or tub of water


  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Acceleration
      • Newton's Laws
      • Rotation Motion
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Transportation


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Clausen, Tom ; Storm, Roger


  • Public domain, NASA, 2008