The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

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Se7en Do Rocket Science…

November 19th, 2011 · 21 Comments

Sometimes we are just inspired… and my kids have been dying to make rockets. I on the other had have no desire to spread diet soda and menthos everywhere!!!

So they did a quick search and they came across rockets that needed bicycle pumps attached to bottles or hose pipes attached to things a holes drilled through bottle tops… Nothing like the kitchen science that I am always after. I thought we would blog our learning curve as we tried different rockets. So forgive us for re-inventing the wheel or the rocket… but you will see it was well worth it in the end!!!

We started with AIR:

Just a straw:


Give the one end of the straw wrapper a little twist to seal it and then blow… gone…


Then with tissue paper on a straw:



Then we went huge… but we needed a trumpeter to blow this… Just a twist of paper onto a Vuvuzela..


It didn’t fly…


So we moved on to FIRE: And the famous teabag rocket…


Empty your teabag, open the teabag up and drop a match into it. The teabag will light and the warm air will lift it, but the wait of the flame will bring the rocket back down… not the most exciting rocket… Don’t let anyone tell you this one is wild!!!


So we went back to AIR Rockets and those trusty Balloons:


Thread a piece of string through a straw, and blow up a balloon – but don’t tie it shut! Hold the balloon next to the straw and tape it on to the straw… Hold the string tight and let go of the balloon… Woosh… but we were looking for more!!!

So we started to work on CHEMICAL rockets:

You will need a small empty canister, some water and a ant acid tablet, which we didn’t have so we used some citro soda. And we gave it a little test run.


Then we made sure that the rocket looked like a rocket…


We filled our canister with water and popped the citro soda into it… Slammed it shut and then placed it on the counter…


We were good to give it a go… and like so many kitchen science experiments it was a lot more hype than woosh!!! It lifted but only marginally!!!

So we moved onto bigger things…

You will need a plastic, a cork that fits the opening snuggly, vinegar, water, bicarbonate of soda and tissue paper.


Begin by making your bottle looking like a rocket – and remember to keep the bottle opening free at the bottom of the rocket.


Fill the bottle about a third full with water, another third vinegar. Head out doors and practice planting your rocket against a plant with the cork firmly in place. Once you are satisfied with your launch plan then… Make a little parcel of bicarbonate soda – wrapped in tissue paper… drop it into your bottle of vinegar water… slam the cork in, plant it ready to launch and step back…




Before I could take the second photograph the cork had popped out and the rocket was gone… not far… but gone!!!

We were onto something, we just needed a grander scale… So a bigger bottle, and the same recipe: water, vinegar and bicarbonate of soda…


Checking the launch pad…

And last minute preparations…


Woosh… So fast, so high, so impressive!!!


Let’s see that again…




And repeat and repeat and repeat… Make sure you stock up on vinegar and baking soda before you do this experiment because once is just not enough!!!

Hope you all have a fun weekend!!!

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Tags: Homeschooling · Science

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