Water Rocket Competition

summer pre college rocket launch

The Department of Physics Annual Goddard Cup

The 2023 Goddard Cup takes place on Wednesday, June 7 from 2-5 pm at the Rooftop Field.

Students with a tendency to space-out are welcome

We are inviting all schools in Worcester County, kindergarten through college, to send teams of students to the event. Each team must include a member of their school’s faculty to serve as team leader.

Why water rockets?

Dr. Goddard launched the world’s first liquid fuel rocket on March 16, 1926. To honor his achievement, we thought it fitting that the participants use “liquid fuel” as well. Of course, whereas Dr. Goddard used a combustible fuel, for safety purposes we choose non-combustible water. Novices! Do not let that disturb your orbit. Track our links to the World Wide Web and marvel at the stratospheric feats of pop-bottles filled with pressurized water.

Students of Worcester County, are you the next Robert Goddard?

Fire up your fellow students, assemble a team of rocket scientists, bombard your science teacher until she or he registers! Come have a blast-off and launch your summer in style! And hey, it really is rocket science.

Want to be a mentor or judge?

If you are a WPI science/engineering student or faculty member and would like to mentor a group of young rocket scientists; or if you are a WPI student, staff, or faculty member and would like to serve as a judge or as a member of field staff on rocket day; please contact Carol Gregoire.


A major part of the competition is the science outreach, largely achieved through the actual rocketry experience, and as we hope, greatly enhanced through mentoring provided by volunteer physics students and faculty. Mentors may choose the duration and degree of their involvement. Mentoring may take many forms, from guidance on rocket design and safety, to hands-on assistance in acquiring materials, building and testing the rockets and launchers. Mentors may provide assistance to rocket teams via email, phone, and/or face-to-face contact. Mentors may invite their adopted teams to WPI to meet and discuss rocket design. Mentors may also, if they wish, visit a team’s school to give a rocket talk. Mentors who are members of societies such as SPS and Sigma Pi Sigma are welcome to arrange, with their respective societies, to apply their mentoring activities toward earning society-related goals.

When registering, teams will indicate whether or not they would like to be contacted by a mentor. Mentoring activities may begin immediately once a team registers and a mentor adopts the team and makes initial contact.