skip graphical navigation
PBS KidsZOOM Home Back to Activity
Science Rocks!



your results

Sent in by:
Joan of Glassboro, NJ

Water, water everywhere...

Materials Needed

  • 1 one-pint milk carton
  • 2 one-quart milk cartons
  • string
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • new pencil (unsharpened)
  • tape - duct tape works quite well, but masking tape and scotch tape don't
  • a watering can and somewhere that you can pour water
  • something to lift with your water wheel, like a bag of marbles



  1. Take your pint milk carton, cut a flap in the side and bend it back. Do this on all 4 sides.
  2. After that, using your scissors, poke a hole through the ends of your pint carton. Be careful not to take the whole bottom off and don't poke yourself. This part can get frustrating.
  3. Tape down the end with the open arrow and the sell-by stamp.
  4. Poke another hole in the taped end.
  5. Put the pencil through the holes. You've got part one of your waterwheels done.
  6. Take your ruler and measure 6 inches up on your quart milk cartons & poke a hole with your scissors.
  7. Take the string and measure about 2 feet and cut it off with your scissors.
  8. Tape your string to the pencil on the bottom side of the milk carton.
  9. Tie the string to your bag of marbles, or whatever object you are lifting.
  10. Take the pint container with the pencil through it & put each end of the pencil into the quart containers.
  11. Here comes the fun part - pouring the water. Take your watering can filled with water and pour it over the flaps on the pint-sized container whichever way works best. Cool, huh?

You can also send us your pictures or video of this ZOOMsci:
Box 350
Boston, MA 02134

Some of your Results

Courtney, age 11 of Blairsville, PA wrote:
When I used my waterwheel it want in 2 cirles and sank. Then I rebuilt it adout 5 times because it keep on doing the same thing over & over. Then it finlly worked!!!

Jasmin, age 10 of Surrey, BC wrote:
What happend was the water wheel spun around 12 times. It was very fun I spilled water onto the water wheel.

Nawra, age 15 of Bowie, MD wrote:
When I did the waterwheel I was so happy to see that it came treu. That is my first experience that I had ever made following your directions. I will be so excited if I keep on doing the experiments right.

Annie, age 9 of Glendale, AZ wrote:
It worked. I was surprised. It went stright.

Agatha, age 16 of San Digeo, CA wrote:
Well I tell ya, I I came across this nifty experiment. I knew when I saw it I had to try this. It was one of the best times I'v ever had just me and the wonderful world of science.

Andrea, age 12 of Farmington Hills wrote:
It was very interesting that it pulled the marbles up!

Leah S., age 11 of Peabody, MA wrote:
My sister and I had some great progress with our waterwheel. We tried to lift a mini waterballoon the first try. It didn't quite make it up. The second time we had great progress: it made it to the top.

Leah S., age 10 of Canton, OH wrote:
I made a Waterwheel. I did it the same way you did. Mine did not work the first time because my four doors were not open enough. They just let a small amount of water in. The second time the doors were open too much. They let too much water in, and that weighed it down, making it hard to move. The third time the doors were in the middle. It worked pefectly. It was able to get enough water but not too much.

Matthew W., age 12 of Plainfield, IL wrote:
It fell over when I poured it.

Gab K., age 10 of Greenlane, PA wrote:
It was really cool. It worked!

Peter, age 6 wrote:
I have an idea of how to make one. Take three milk jugs. Poke a hole in one. Poke a hole in top and bottom of the same one. Poke a hole in the side of each of the other jugs. Take a toothpick, poke another hole in the jugs with one hole. Put a toothpick in the top hole of each jug with two holes. Put a toothpick in the bottom hole of each jug with two holes. Put a toothpick cross in between the two toothpicks. BOOM!!! You are done!

Julie C., age 10 of Lakeland, FL wrote:
I did the waterwheel with a milk jug. I set it out side. The rain woldn't turn it but the hose would.

Kristine R., age 7 of Valencia, CA wrote:
It got the rocks up the mountain.

Christopher, age 8 of Booklyn, NY wrote:
My waterwheel went riely fast

Obrey W., age 12 of Houston, TX wrote:
When I heared about the water wheel I decided to make one by my self. I took 4 foam cups and pined them to a pitcher full of sand and rock. Then I took my water hose and sprayed it on the cups.

Kyle H., age 11 wrote:
It was so wet!

Trek R., age 9 of Cuba, NY wrote:
When I did it it did not work because it did not take water up with it.

not yet implemented