To kick start a project to design and build a water rocket, our first-year engineering students took a trip to Wild Park to see some live test firing. With some final year students helping lecturers to lead the session, it was a great opportunity for the project students to see different water rocket designs in action and understand what they are aiming for.
A fun project firmly rooted in engineering and product design, students focus on measurements, building rigour into the design and keeping in mind what they want the rocket to be able to do. Gathering and using data is key, from fluid dynamics analysis to data assimilation which can be tested in the wind tunnel.
Students are introduced to a range of practical, hands-on digital fabrication technologies, an understanding of their underlying theory and how to apply them to a design related project, to build their technical engineering skills. Alongside this they develop softer skills such as working effectively in a team and recognising factors that effect team performance, planning and project management tools and techniques, and documenting projects through a digital portfolio.
This is all wrapped into a good-natured competition as teams come together at the end of the project at the end of the semester to launch their rockets and just how far their designs go. Find out how they get on after the final designs are fired.