At Home With Hands On!

Baking Soda Bottle Rocket (7/1/15)Baking-Soda-Bottle-Rocket

MATERIALS:

  • 16 oz. plastic bottle
  • Rubber stopper or cork
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Duct tape
  • Craft sticks (or unsharpened pencils)
  • Square of toilet paper
  • Safety goggles

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Using a piece of duct tape, attach 3 or 4 equally-spaced craft sticks to the outside of the empty bottle. The craft sticks should extend about an inch past the opening of the bottle. This will be your rocket’s launch platform!
  2. Next, fill up the bottle halfway with vinegar.
  3. Place one tablespoon of baking soda on a single square of toilet paper, and tightly wrap it up.
  4. Now it’s time to go outside, because this is going to get messy! Don’t forget to put on your super cool safety goggles!
  5. This step will need to happen very quickly, or you may experience some technical difficulties! Drop the toilet paper-wrapped baking soda into the vinegar, and quickly cork the bottle. Give it a shake, and position the rocket so it is resting on the craft sticks. Stand back!
  6. WOW! Did that really just happen?!

HOW DOES IT WORK?

When you mix vinegar and baking soda together, you can see an acid-base reaction in the works – vinegar is the acid, and baking soda is the base. Did you notice all the little bubbles moving around in the bottle? Those bubbles are filled with an invisible gas called carbon dioxide – the same stuff we breathe out. Carbon dioxide gas takes up space, even though we can’t see it! When you trap all of that gas inside the bottle, it creates a lot of pressure. Soon, the bottle will not have enough room to hold the gas anymore, and…KABOOM!