Inventor Lonnie G. Johnson spent more than a decade in high-level posts within the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the U.S. Air Force, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. He was, in short, a rocket scientist, albeit one with a B.S. in mechanical engineering and a master’s in nuclear engineering. But what sent his high-flying career into orbit was the invention of one of the world’s most popular toys: the Super Soaker.
Teams of high school students use their understanding of projectile physics and fluid dynamics to calculate the water pressure in squirt guns by measuring the range of the water jets. They create graphs to analyze how the predicted pressure relates to the number of times they pump the water gun before shooting.
Tags: Bernoulli, calculations, Class Activities, data analysis, fluid dynamics, forces and motion, Grades 9-12, graph, Mathematics, measurement, Physics, pressure, projectile, Super Soaker, variables, velocity, water gun