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NPL Water Rocket Challenge

Our 25th NPL Water Rocket Challenge will be held on 26 June 2024

Registration now open 

Water rockets

What is the NPL Water Rocket Challenge?

2024 Water Rocket Challenge rules and information

The NPL Water Rocket Challenge consists of two events: 

  • A schools only event in the afternoon (arrival from 10:00 for launch at 12:00) and 
  • an open competition in the evening (arrival from 17:00 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 rocket that can be constructed by your group.  

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 the local Scouts group. 

Adults can register team and workshop places using the following buttons. You will need to declare your team name – so decide that before you register. 

Register school team(s)

Register evening team(s) or workshop

If you need any further information, please contact NPL Outreach

Plan your day

Timings (note that schools start earlier than previous years) 

Details Schools event  Open event 
Teams arrive & rocket safety inspection  10.00 - 11.30  17.00 - 18.30 
Rounds 1, 2 & 3  12.00 – 14.30  18.30 – 20.15 
Prize presentation  14.30 - 15.00  20.15 – 20.30 

Catering & toilets 

  • School event: drinking water and squash will be available. 
  • Evening event: BBQ food and drink will be available for spectators and open event competitors to purchase from the Sports Pavilion between 18.00 and 20.30. 
  • Toilets are located in the changing rooms next to the Pavilion. 
  • Water taps next to the barriers provide rocket propellant. 

Water Rocket taking offThe charity 

This year the local Scouts will be the beneficiary of proceeds.  

Getting here 

Bushy Park Sports Club, Pavilion Road, Teddington, TW11 0EL what3words: 

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 follow the signs and directions from staff. 


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

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. Find out more 

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.

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