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Hero Engine (third law of motion)

Author(s): Deborah A. Shearer, MS, and Gregory L. Vogt, EdD
Hero Engine (third law of motion)

Replica of a Hero's Engine.
© Sussex Steam Company\John Whitehouse

  • Grades:
  • K-2 3-5 6-8

Students use the thrust produced by falling water to investigate Newton’s Third Law of Motion.

Student teams will construct water-propelled engines out of soft drink cans and investigate ways to increase the action-reaction thrust produced by water shooting out of holes punched in the can sides.

The "Hero Engine" activity is from the Rockets Educators Guide. Although grade levels are suggested, small modifications will enable more complex activities to be used successfully with other grade levels for observation, demonstration or complete lessons.

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Funded by the following grant(s)

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

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This publication is by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA Kennedy Space Center, and released into the Public Domain. Permission is not required for duplication.