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Introduction

Would you like to build a rocket without spending millions of dollars?  You can!  Your rocket will be easy to make--and it runs on chemistry and physics!  To learn how this works, read the explanation and follow the links below.

Create your pop rocket by collecting the materials and following the instructions.

      Safety Information
Experiments are dangerous, but scientists are always safe!

Always have an adult help you collect the materials and conduct the experiment. 
This experiment may be simple, but the rocket will go fast! Make sure you step back from the rocket once you put the on the lid.
Do this experiment outside.
Wear safety goggles.

 

 

 
Materials
film canister
baking soda
vinegar
Instructions
1) 

2)

 

3)

Remove the film canister's top and pack the lid with baking soda.  

Pour two teaspoons of vinegar into the film canister.

 

Replace the lid on the film canister.

 
 
 
4) Flip the canister upside-down, set it on the ground, and step back!

3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . Blast off!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Explanation
  When baking soda (NaHCO3) and vinegar (CH3COOH) are mixed together, the chemical reaction produces carbon dioxide gas (CO2). 
  As the chemicals continue to mix, more and more carbon dioxide fills the film canister. Within seconds, there's no more room in your tiny rocket! What happens?  
  Blast off! The pressure inside the rocket knocks the lid off, towards the ground.  Why does the canister fly upwards?  
  Newton's Third Law of Motion says:
"For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction."
 
  Sir Isaac Newton figured out that actions and reactions are always equal. This means that an action and a reaction will have the same force.

He also said that the action and reaction are opposite. This means that if an action pushes in one direction, the reaction pushes in the opposite direction. You push the chair down, it pushes you up. The fish pushes water backward, the water pushes the fish forward. Wheels on a car spin backward against the road; the road pushes the wheels forward, and the whole car moves forward.  (picture)
 
  So let's take a look at how Newton's Third Law of Motion makes the rocket pop. When the carbon dioxide gas pushes the lid into the ground, it applies a downward force on the ground. The canister is then pushed upward with equal force. (picture)  
Links
Carbon Dioxide
Learn more about that special gas, carbon dioxide
History of Rockets
Learn about the history and different types of rockets
The Physics Classroom
Learn more about Newton's three laws
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