NASA Logo - Web Link to NASA.gov

+ Text Only Site
+ Non-Flash Version
+ Contact Glenn

Go
ABOUT NASA NEWS AND EVENTS MULTIMEDIA MISSIONS MyNASA WORK FOR NASA
border  

NASA Logo
  History of Rockets
  Rocket Principles
  Practical Rocketry
  Knowledge Game
  Rocket Activities
  Hero Engine
  Rocket Car
  Rocket Pinwheel
  Antacid Tablet Race
  Paper Rocket
  Pencil Rocket
  Match Rocket
  Newton Car
  Balloon Staging
  Altitude Tracking
  Activities Home

  Rockets Home
 

  Beginner's Guide
  Index
   

Soda Pop Can Hero Engine

TOPIC: Newton's Laws of Motion

OBJECTIVE: Rocketry

DESCRIPTION: Water streaming through holes in the bottom of a suspended soda pop can causes the can to rotate.

CONTRIBUTED BY: Tom Clausen, KSC Explorations Station
EDITED BY: Roger Storm, NASA Glenn Research Center


MATERIALS AND TOOLS:

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

PROCEDURE:

  1. Lay the pop can on its side and using the nail or ice pick carefully punch four equally spaced small holes just above and around the bottom rim. Then before removing the punching tool for each hole, push the tool to the right (parallel to the rim) so that the hole is slanted in that direction.

     

  2. Bend the can's opener lever straight up and tie a short length of fishing line to it.

     

  3. Immerse the can in water until it is filled. Pull the can out by the fishing line. Water streams will start the can spinning.

     

  4. If the can does not spin try making the holes larger or adding a fishing swivel to the string above the can.

     

DISCUSSION: The Soda Pop Can Hero Engine is an excellent demonstration of Newton's Laws of Motion. The can rotates because a force is exerted by the flowing water (1 st. Law). The rate of rotation will vary with different numbers of holes and different diameters of holes in the can (2nd. Law). Try two holes and try a can with large holes verses a can with small holes. The can rotates in the opposite direction from the direction of the water streams (3rd. Law).

 
border

 

     First Gov Image


+ Inspector General Hotline
+ Equal Employment Opportunity Data Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
+ Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
+ Freedom of Information Act
+ The President's Management Agenda
+ NASA Privacy Statement, Disclaimer,
and Accessibility Certification

 

NASA Logo   
Editor: Tom Benson
NASA Official: Tom Benson
Last Updated: Jun 12 2014

+ Contact Glenn