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Baking Soda Rockets

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Introduction

In this activity, you will be able to create your own baking soda rocket. First you will be able to create your own rocket and then you will experiment with different chemicals (baking soda and vinegar) and try to determine how far you can launch your rocket.

Materials List

  • A two-liter soda bottle
  • 3 pencils (unsharpened is best)
  • Duct tape
  • A cork that fits the soda bottle
  • Paper towels
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Protective eye covering (goggles)

Plastic soda bottle rocket experiment

Procedure

  1. First, prepare your rocket.  Place three unsharpened pencils around your bottle. Make sure they are equal spaced.
  2. Using duct tape, tape the pencils to your pop bottle.
  3. Pour in some vinegar into your bottle. We suggest starting with 2 cups of vinegar (feel free to change the mixture after your first test).
  4. Then you need a small square of paper towel (we used half of a select-a-size paper towel). Place 2 tablespoons of baking soda in the towel and fold the paper towel around it.  It needs to be narrow enough to fit through the mouth of your bottle.
  5. Place the towel with baking soda in your bottle, but have a bit of the paper towel sticking out of the bottle.
  6. Gently push in the cork (NOT TOO TIGHT). Make sure a little bit of towel is sticking out so that the baking soda does not fall into the vinegar (yet).
  7. Turn the bottle over and wait for it to launch! It can take up to 30 seconds. Be careful of pushing in the cork too tightly

What happened? How do you think you can change up this experiment? Can you make it into a competition? It’s up to you to explore and experiment!