Safety First!! – Be Careful, Not Blind!

We’ve done a lot of testing to understand the safety risks because we want to be sure that you have a safe experience. We’ve tried various scenarios to purposefully over-pressurize and break things so we feel confident that these projects are safe for supervised experimentation. But there’s ONE BIG CAVEAT! Don’t launch at people, pets, or fragile things!

Seriously, it is possible to build a launcher that makes a Nerf-style dart shoot hard enough to break things…In testing, I shot a dart right through a styrofoam plate from 10 feet away. What if that was an eyeball?! Scared? Good. Don’t shoot people!

Get to know your parts

There are parts included to make at least two rockets (or other interesting launch vehicles) and several variations of an Air-powered Launcher. We’ve also included some Nerf-style darts for quick testing (not for shooting at people).

Review your parts and see how many ways you can find to use air to launch something. What seems to make it launch farther? As you experiment and find what works, think about how you might launch something to keep it airborne as long as possible. (Hint: This might be related to the next National Challenge.)

A few simple examples…

Here are a few quick ways that I found to launch the darts. What ideas do you have? Can you come up with something other than a dart to launch?

4 thoughts on “Air-powered Launcher: Getting Started”

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