One empty 35mm plastic
film canister and lid (white
ones work better than
One fizzing antacid tablet
(such as Alka-Seltzer )
1. Put on those safety goggles
and leave them on at all times!
When this works, that film
canister really flies!
2. Take the antacid tablet
first trial use ¼, tablet
second trail use ½ tablet
third trial, use the whole tablet
3. Remove the lid from the
film canister and using the
graduated cylinder measure
5 ml of water into the
Do the next 2 steps
4. Drop the tablet into the
canister and snap the cap
onto the canister (make sure
that it snaps on tightly.)
5. Quickly put the canister on
CAP SIDE AWAY FROM YOU
and STEP BACK at least 2
6. About 10 seconds later,
you will hear a POP! and the
film canister will launch into
Caution: If it does not
launch, wait at least 30
second before examining the
canister. Usually the cap is
not on tight enough and the
build up of gas leaked out.
Which combination of alka seltzer and water
chemically react to make the alka seltzer rocket
launch the farthest?
Circle prediction and explain why you think this.
¼ alka seltzer tablet + 5 ml of water
½ alka seltzer tablet + 5 mil of water
1 whole alka seltzer tablet + 5 ml of water
I think this combination will make the alka
seltzer rocket launch the farthest because
Amount of Amount of Distance
alka seltzer water rocket
1/4 5 ml
1/2 5 ml
1 whole 5 ml
Alka seltzer versus distance (centimeters)
¼ ½ whole
Alka seltzer tablet
Conclusion: What happened and why
When we analyzed our data, we see that
In the experiment, a film canister is filled
with water, an effervescent tablet
(commonly Alka- seltzer) is added and
the canister tightly sealed. After a short
time, the pressure of the carbon dioxide
is great enough to cause the body of the
canister to be launched into the air with a
In rocketry a chemical reaction rapidly
creates gas that is expelled in one
direction from its container (the rocket
engine) momentum forces the rocket in
the opposite direction.
The Alka-seltzer rocket experiment
demonstrates Newton’s Third Law.
Newton's three laws of motion
describe the relationship between the
forces acting on a body and its motion
due to those forces.
The third Law is commonly known as
the Law of equal and opposite reactions.
The film canister rocket has a buildup of
gas that wants to come out of the
weakest spot making all the gas come
out at once through the hole at the
The gas comes out from the underside
and pushes the rocket up. After it gets
pushed up, air resistance slows it down
and gravity pulls it down to earth.
The film canister accelerates quickly
because it has very little mass.
The film canister rocket uses a solid
fuel mixed with a liquid fuel to create a
gas that escapes out of the bottom.
The gas is carbon dioxide (CO2), the
liquid is water (H2O), and the solid is an
When the H2O is mixed with an
effervescent tablet, it produces the gas
CO2. The reaction time depends on the
surface area of the tablet.
NaHCO3(aq) + C6H8O7(aq) NaC6H7O7(aq) + H2O(l) + CO2(g)
1. Does water temperature
affect how fast the rocket
2. Can the flight path be
controlled by adding fins or a
nosecone to the canister?
3. How much water in the
canister will give the highest
4. How much water will give the
What question do you want to