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My 8-year-old son, for his project after studying space, wanted to launch off rockets. He had been waiting, may I exaggerate and say forever, to be able to do some experiments. I kept saying, “When we’re in America.” Now we are here and I spent $20 on science experiment equipment. That’s a lot of money to us. It’s harder to not spend money when so much is available!
We launched 20 trials and my son wrote up a little report using the scientific method. He wrote up the question, hypothesis, materials, procedure, observations and conclusion.
If you have tried this yourself before and only gotten the rockets to fly a few feet high, try again. I’ll give you some tips to get them higher.
Fuji film canister (ask around and see if you can find someone with one of these if you can’t use the film yourself) It can’t be just any film canister. The lid has to fit inside the canister.
water, vinegar, other?
Prepare a flat place for a launch pad. We chose near the house so we would have something to gauge height against.
Put your liquid in the film canister.
Drop in the Alka-Seltzer and immediately put on the cover and flip it over and place it on the launch pad.
First we tried to decide how much Alka-Seltzer to use. My son assumed more would work better. It turned out about a 1/2 canister of water with 1/8th of one table worked best, maybe 10 feet. Try whole tablets, crushed tablets, etc. if you have a lot of tablets to work with. Remember to only change one variable at a time so you know what’s affecting it.
We also tried hot water, cold water and regular water.
Then we tried vinegar. Vinegar worked best with just a tiny bit in the canister. It didn’t seem to make too much difference how much Alka-Seltzer we put in, but it was going over the roof every time, so I had nothing to gauge its height against. That was maybe 16 feet.
So if you’ve only had moderate success with water and one tablet, do a little more experimenting and it gets more exciting.