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Water rockets

Water Rocket Challenge 2022

Water rockets

Our 23rd event will be held on 21 June 2022.

For full rules and information click on the button below

2022 Water Rocket Challenge Rules and Information 

The Water Rocket challenge consists of two events:

  • A schools only event in the afternoon (arrival from 11:30 for launch at 12:30) and
  • An open competition in the evening (arrival from 17:30 for launch at 18:30).

Team entry fee for each event is £35 for up to 7 people (in a launch bay) including at least one adult. Teams will need to arrive with pre-built launcher and rockets.

Evening event: if you don't have a team or a rocket, you can pre-register (below) to join our rocket building workshop. We will provide all materials, and help you build and launch your rocket three times. Workshop places are £10 per person. Make sure you book early as tickets sell fast!

Spectators are welcome to the evening event (only), adults pay £2 each on entry.

All proceeds are donated to local scout groups who will be assisting us on the day. More info here.

Adults can register team and workshop places using the following buttons. Please decide your team name before registration.

Register school team/s

Register evening team/s or workshop

If you need any further information, please contact NPL Outreach

For more information on timings and how to plan your day, click here.

What is the NPL water rocket challenge?

The challenge is to land an air pressurised rocket, using water as a propellant, exactly 70 m from launch point, three times, with extra points for flight duration. We have a big annual festival on our site where teams compete.

On this page are some awesome videos, photos and results from previous years’ Water Rocket Challenges.

Water rockets are fun and easy to make

We have some posters of water rocket scientific facts and design tips, as well as a video made in association with a local school on the science of water rockets:

Download our comprehensive booklet about building water rockets which helps you improve flight and understand the physics involved.

Rocket Simulator

Check out this Water Rocket simulator software! It is described in the booklet and helps you improve flight and understand the physics involved (be amazed at the temperatures of water and air leaving the rocket).

Software: Water Rocket simulator  [Windows only 2.84MB]


Did you know?

NPL constructed a water rocket powered car which featured on the Gadget Show.

We also held the record for making the world's largest water rocket,
launched in 2011 – using 140 x 2 litre bottles and stood 3.4 m tall.

Contact us



Plan your day


Details Schools event Open event
Teams arrive & rocket saftey inspection 11.30 - 12.30 5.30 - 6.30
Rounds 1, 2 & 3 12.30 - 3.00 6.30 - 8.15
Prize presentation 3.00 - 3.30 8.15 - 8.30

Getting there

Bushy Park Sports Club, Pavilion Road, Teddington, TW11 0EL

Public transport
The Sports Club is just a few minutes walk from Teddington Rail Station and Broad Street with its many buses.

Car or bike
Head along Queens Road and turn in through the gates opposite Park Lane. Carry straight on over the first mini roundabout then turn left at the second one. Drive on and you’ll be able to see the club straight ahead of you. There’s plenty of car and bike parking on site.

Catering & toilets

  • Drinking water and squash will be available free during the schools event.
  • BBQ food and drink will be available for spectators and open event competitors to purchase from the Sports Pavilion between 6.00 pm and 8.30 pm.
  • Toilets are located in the Changing Rooms next to the Pavilion
  • Water taps next to the barriers provide rocket fuel.


NPL Management Limited and the organisers may take photographs and video at the event for promotional purposes.

The charity

Richmond-Scouts.pngprimary-tiger-logo-blue-bluetext-rgb-(1).pngThis year, NPL Water Rockets is supporting local scouts representing Richmond Borough at the 25 World Scout Jamboree. The World Scout Jamboree takes place every four years each time hosted by a different country. In Summer 2023, more than 40,000 Scouts from all over the world will gather in South Korea. The Jamboree is a skills, cultural and adventure festival this time with a theme of “Draw Your Dream”. As part of their Jamboree journey the scouts will have the opportunity to discover new cultures and take part in activities focusing on the environment, skills development and global development issues.  The Jamboree will be the culmination of 18 months’ work for the young people. The Richmond scout contingent will be helping run the NPL Water Rockets event and will be the beneficiary of all entry fees. 

Bushy Park Sports Club

The club is open to all and boasts impressive numbers of youth participants. If you are interested in joining the club either to play tennis, football, cricket, hockey, table tennis or even as a social member, ask at the Pavilion bar about membership.