STEM Project: The CO2 Rocket Car

This is my favorite project from this month’s STEM Fair.  A student of mine decided to build CO2 Rocket cars.  I loved building one of these in middle school.  I distinctly remember my simple teardrop design coming in last and remarking – well, that’s unfair.  I didn’t know I could do THAT! – when I saw the winners thin, stretchy, leggy thing.  I looked like a duck next to a greyhound.

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Last time, my teacher bought a kit.  This time, I chose a simple design for this piece – a pine wedge cut from a 2×4, 1/4 inch dowels as axles and wheels cut from plywood using a hole saw.  A 3/4 inch Forster bit cut away the hole for a CO2 cartridge (bought at the late night supply run superstore) Walmart – shooting goods section!.  My student assembled it and I rigged a firing mechanism and guide rails.

I know my next CAD/Aerospace mash – up.  Gliders, racing boats, rocket cars…any other type of fluid dynamics we need to cover?

Make it safe & keep the rubber side down this weekend.