During International Children’s Day, the 1st of June, our school held a water rocket competition at the old stadium in Phnom Penh. The stadium is a huge grassy field surrounded by bleachers that can seat thousands, and, most importantly, has a great supply of water available for the launchers.
There were 249 students who participated in the first stage of the challenge. The competition started at around 9.00 am and ended about noon. Students started to arrive at 8.00 am to prepare their rockets for launching. Within minutes, the stadium was packed with people.
The teachers and judges’ tables were placed in the centre of the field, and there was music blasting from the speakers. We could all feel the excitement of the crowd. There were many students and teachers wearing either a black or white shirt with a water rocket logo.
First, the teachers started the competition by selecting the best design rockets and launchers. All students got lined up according to their grades, starting from the 12th graders down to the 7th graders. There were so many rockets in different shapes, sizes, and colors.
It was the same for the launchers which had all unique designs. They varied from the sophisticated-looking ones to the simplest of designs. However, they were all admirable, and clearly it was difficult for the judges to select the best one.
After choosing the best design, we went straight to the competition to find the rocket that could stay up in the air the longest. As there were 2 classes for each grade, we didn’t have much time, and the teachers had to proceed quickly.
There was a lot of tension among competitors and their ardent supporters at the stage; cheers and applause was coming in waves from the audience and the competitors.
There were also some cameramen roaming around the area to capture the big event. After hours of launching the rockets, it was obvious that the students were exhausted and hungry. While students who had been waiting took their turn in the field, the others gathered in groups to relax and enjoy the famous Turkish Doner Kebab, which was at the upper levels of the stadium. As the competition was drawing to an end, with few rockets left to compete, competitors started returning home, some with soaked clothes and all with a satisfied smile.
Vong Rosavid Ek, 10-E
BLAST OFF, WATER ROCKET!
There were 263 participants in the second session.
We arrived there at 1:00 pm just in time for the start of the competition. If you had been there, you would have noticed that each of the participants' rockets was distinct, either in design, size, shape, or material.
Before their launch time, pupils on the field started getting their rocket ready away from the crowd.
They came up with very innovative ideas. They took advantage of a common product, and used SODA water because of its properties: it is fizzy, releases gas, and its clear looks exactly like plain water. We must not call this "cheating", preferring instead to call it "being smart". They filled up their rockets with it, pumped the air in, and launched!
There it goes, soaring up into the sky! Many rockets followed at that moment. Just then something happened which made the audience stare with their mouths wide open. Something huge was shot up, a blue mass, so big and heavy that it might possibly kill anyone it fell on.
It was a 20 liter bottle with a weight of 49 Newton! Fortunately, it landed on the roof of the stadium and emitted a thunderous sound as if a comet had hit the earth.
At about half past three in the afternoon a downpour arrived, complete with lightning scattering across the sky. All of our competitors and teachers quickly collected their belongings from the field and rushed towards a shelter inside the spectator hall. Of course the contest had to pause and wait for the rain to stop. The participants, who had become quite hungry due a hard day’s work and the presence of the delicious odor of Turkish Doner Kebab in the air, bought themselves some of this delicacy, accompanied by a fizzy drink.
About half an hour later, the rain stopped and the competition resumed. Competitors launched their handiwork one by one until every participant had their rocket launched.
After everyone had their turn, Mr.Gurkan announced that the results of the challenge would be released back at school as soon as possible. The competition finally ended at 4 :00 pm.
After all was said and done, this water rocket competition was an opportunity for every student at school to learn about physics while having fun. It also helped us to build friendships and encouraged bonding while we were all working together.
Sintan Som, 11-A
1, 2, 3… Lift off!! There goes another water rocket up into the sky above the Old Stadium.
The Water Rocket Challenge, which is simply a bottle of water shaped to look like a rocket, and air, which is used to pressurize it with the help of an air pump, to see which rocket can stay in the air the longest.
There were many differently designed launchers and rockets. Some didn’t work, some went up only a little ways, and some were just spectacular. We clapped and cheered for those that went up high and stayed up for a long time, even though they might not have belonged to our friends.
At the end of the competition we launched our rockets all together into the air simultaneously, signaling the end of a tiring, wet, and wonderful competition. We hope we can have another competition like this again next year.
Viriya Keo, 10-F
The water rocket has a few major points, the launcher, the rocket itself and the amount of water and pressure. If u can perfect all these points, then you’re good to go.
I had a very enjoyable time during the water rocket competition. It was very hot but it was worth all the fun.
Akchhara Chharom, 10-F
It was a really fun and exciting water rocket competition. The competition gave students a chance to show their expertise with rockets. Winning or losing was not important, my partner and I just kept focusing on making our rocket the best we could. I hope it’s going to be held again next year.
“Experience is the way to success”
Sovisal Srey, 11-B
I was so excited and amazed seeing so many rockets of different colors and shapes being shot into the sky. I think our school holding this competition is a good idea because I learned a great new formula (P=F/A), and it gave all the students in this school an opportunity to show how strong or clever they are, and also showed them how to spend their time doing something useful.
Sombath Sok, 10-C
The last class to be called out to compete was 10C because while they were launching their rockets, it began to rain heavily. The entire crowd of students ran quickly to the bleachers.
Most of us sat down and watched the rain, while others went to buy doner to eat. In the stadium, on the bleachers, there was doner (spit-roasted marinated boneless chicken) for sale.
After the rain stopped, some of the students went home while others ran to the field and launched their rockets for the last round.
Finally, our physics teachers launched their rocket, which was made from a 20 liter water bottle. We watched this rocket travel up into the cloudy sky.
Chung Heang Loh, 10-C
I would like to extend my thanks to all 512 students, assistant teachers and teachers who joined the Water Rocket Challenge for making this competition the most participated in activity of any science activity in school history.
M. Gurkan CIL
Water Rocket Challenge 2011 Videos
Water Rocket Challenge 2011 Photos
|Water Rocket Challenge 2011 1st Section
|Water Rocket Challenge 2011 2nd Section|
|Water Rocket Challenge 2011 Captures|
|Water Rocket Challenge 2011 Samples|