Reply To: Module 5 – Rockets & Alien Chemistry

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David Mitchell

One of the activities outlined in this module that would be suitable for Space Week would be the “Make a Rocket” activity. The use of an alka-seltzer tablet and water to create a rocket and propel a film canister through the air like a rocket. When water is added to the tablet the gas carbon dioxide is released. The pressure of the carbon dioxide gas builds up inside the canister until it becomes so great that it blows the canister from its lid. The gas rushing out of the end of the canister pushes it in the opposite direction. The rocket can shoot up to 5 metres into the air.
The children can design their rocket by adding cardboard/paper fins and a nose. They can be creative and try different designs, recording the distance travelled, height reached and time spent in the air. The concept of aerodynamics and air resistance can be explored and the effect of adding different elements to their rocket.

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