Good afternoon scientists! We are excited to share our 100th post today. Thank you to all of our readers, family, and friends. This is another great investigation from Scalzi’s Patio Science Club on Suncoast View. We loved blasting off our rocket.
Empty Plastic Bottle
White Vinegar (You might want extra to do more then one launch)
1 Tablespoon Scoop
Stopper (Make sure it fits snugly into the bottom opening, we made lemon-aide out of our cork stopper by sanding it a bit to make it fit)
Tape (We used Shipping Tape)
Safety Goggles (Vinegar is an acid and would sting if it got in your eyes)
Construction Paper and Safety Scissors (optional to decorate)
- Tape pencils in thirds around the edge of the bottle so that the neck of the bottle will be a couple inches off of the ground.
- Create a paper cone for your ship if desired. Secure to the rocket with tape.
- Use the funnel to fill the bottle about half of the way up with vinegar, we capped ours until we went outside.
- Make a small square out of your paper towel. We had to rip ours in half. Separate the layers if you have paper towels with more then one layer.
- Add one tablespoon of baking soda into the center of your paper towel. Fold in “burrito shape”.
Go outside if you are not already there. Note do this on pavement not on the lawn, the vinegar will kill your grass. **Be safe, watch out for cars** Carefully push the baking soda burrito in the bottle. Tightly cork shut with your stopper, give a quick shake to get the reaction started and set the rocket down on the pencils to launch.
- Watch the show. We ended up shooting off several rocket launches and had a great time.
This investigation worked due to the chemical reaction of the baking soda and vinegar. In a chemical reaction two or more substances are combined to create a new substance. When you combined baking soda and vinegar they produce carbon dioxide as a byproduct, you see this as bubbles.
When we corked the bottom of the rocket the carbon dioxide from the chemical reaction filled up the bottle and caused the pressure to build up. When the pressure was strong enough it was able to blast the cork out and Newton’s Laws of Motion took over. Newton’s Third Law of Motion states for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. In our experiment the pressure from the chemical reaction pushed out of the bottle opening and the equal and opposite reaction was the bottle launching up into the air. Eventually the reaction stops and the bottle returns to Earth’s surface due to gravity, the force that pulls objects to Earth.
Extended Learning: Like this experiment and want to try some more that are similar? Check out some of our other investigations