Science Experiments - Rocket Science - Ideal for Science Fairs, Science Demonstrations & Science Teaching - Science Experiments - Rocket Science

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Science Experiments

Rocket Science
(a kinetic energy science demonstration)

Science Experiment - Rocket Science

What it Does:

This demonstration relies on a chemical reaction to 'blow' the lid off the canister. It is rather dramatic and bound to get a few 'Wow!!!' type responses.


- safety goggles
- 1 film canister (must seal internally)
- 1 alka-seltzer tablet
- a small amount of water
- 1 towel
- 1 ice-cream container lid


1. Place the ice-cream container lid on the ground in a clear open space.

2. Pour approximately 1cm of water into the film canister.

3. Place the alka-seltzer tablet into the film canister and put the lid on very quickly.

4. Quickly place the bottom of the film canister on the ice-cream container lid with the bottom of the canister and step WAY back.

5. Think Pair Share - How do you think the rocket works?

How it Works:

- The water causes a chemical reaction with the alka-seltza tablet that produces the gas carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide continues to be produced but it has no where to go and as a result builds up pressure in the canister. Eventually the pressure becomes too great and the lid is pushed off.

Extension / Further Investigation:

- Repeat the demonstration but invert the canister (turn the canister up the other way).

- Which went higher the lid or the canister? Why?

- Try adding fins to the rocket. Does this have any effect on height or direction of flight?

- Add a 'nose cone' by creating a small cone from paper. Does this have an effect?

- Experiment with different levels of water and a stop watch to see if you can work out how long until it blows.

- Create a two stage rocket by taping two canisters together.

- Substitute the alka-seltza tablet for bicarbonate soda. Does this give better results.

Anecdote - If you do this activity at the beginning of the year & manage leave a mark on the roof, the kids will proudly recount the story of how the mark got there to any visitor will to listen :-)



science experiment - rocket science
NB Canister must be like this one or you just get a few bubbles under the lid and no pop!

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