April STEM Challenge: Blast Off with Bottle Rockets!


The April STEM challenge is to design, build and launch a bottle rocket!

In partnership with the April Bottle Rockets STEMtastic Challenge we held a virtual event to build the rockets together!

The slide show, which includes instructions for how to build and launch your bottle rockets, as well as the basic science behind bottle rockets is

Here is the booklist from the Lincoln Public Library!

Here is a booklist from the Goodnow Library!


  1. Build a bottle rocket using any plastic bottle as a body (we recommend 2L)
  2. Try adding other materials to improve flight and looks
  3. Try testing how high the rocket can fly
  4. Be creative! Try to add an artistic element to your bottle rocket.
  5. Try different designs to see what works best
  6. Feel free to work with family and friends!

Suggested Materials:

  • 2 L bottle 
  • Cardboard (interchangeable with corrugated plastic and foam core)
  • Duct Tape
  • Cork
  • Clay 

Suggested Tools:

  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors or exacto knife 
  • Bike pump (if using that launching method)

Factors to consider:

  • Aerodynamics 
  • Weight
  • Durability 

Launching methods:

Here is a website that guides you through launching your rocket with baking soda and vinegar:

Here is a website that guides you through launching your rocket with a bike pump: Bike pump:

Make sure you launch your rocket outside in an open space!

Additional Challenges: 

  • Try to add a parachute to your rocket!
  • Build your rocket strong enough to survive multiple launches

General Guiding Questions/Suggestions:

  1. What launching method did you use?
  2. How high did you bottle rocket launch?
  3. What materials went into building your bottle rocket, and how did they aid your design?
  4. How did the bottle rocket change while building? 
  5. Do some research on the physics behind how your design worked, or why it didn’t.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What was your favorite part of the challenge?
  2. Did anything unexpected happen?
  3. What challenges did you overcome? 
  4. What did you learn?
  5. Did you have to change the design and how did that change the results?
  6. How did you make your bottle rocket creative or unique?
  7. What was your favorite part of the building process? 

To submit:

  • Send a picture of your creation and answers to the optional questions if you filled them out to stemsubmissions@gearticks.com by April 30th your creations will be featured on the GearTicks website!
  • Feel free to include any planning you did as well as your favorite part of the challenge!
  • Your submissions can be a google document, PDF, image, or just an email

If you have any questions feel free to email hello@gearticks.com!

If you enjoy these STEM Challenges, you may be interested in FLL Explore. FLL Explore is a Lego Robotics program for kids ages 6-10. For more information, you can visit this page or email us!