Pop Rockets

August 7, 2010 at 11:05 pm 4 comments

Our youngest was the returner of the canister.

Watch a video of this experiment You have to enter your email address to see the video but they will send you lots of science experiment freebies so it’s a good list to be on.

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.

Alka-Seltzer tablets

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.

Stand back.

Our results:

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.

Celebrating a successful launch


Entry filed under: Homeschool. Tags: , , .

Space Studies Rocks

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lisa  |  August 12, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    Hi, I’ve nominated you for the versatile blogger award, if you wish to collect the award just follow the link below and follow the rules.



  • 3. joyce:waddleeahchaa.com  |  August 19, 2010 at 5:06 am

    I have four grandsons , a nephew and a niece. They have all launched rockets at different times and they all loved it. It is a wonderful experience for the whole family. Thanks for the post. Blast off! 🙂

  • 4. Space Studies « Just Us  |  August 19, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    […] My son is gathering info on building lots of different kinds of rockets. He wants to see which he can get to fly the highest. We are leaving for America next week so he’s going to wait to build them until we can get all the materials. This coming week school will just be reading and writing about whatever you want. (See Pop Rockets) […]


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