This is Rocket Science!
You are a rocket scientist who has to find the best rocket fuel
for the next space shuttle.
Film canisters with lids Lime juice
Bicarbonate of soda Marker pens
Water Tissue paper
Vinegar (white and brown) Lemon juice
Card or paper Glue and Sellotape
1. Design a rocket to go over the film canister. (You can use the template provided or
your own design.)
2. Put a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda into a twist of tissue paper and secure to
the lid of the film canister. (This is a little fiddly but works well with sellotape to
secure and gets easier with practice!)
3. Put a measured volume of testing fuel in canister and secure lid. DO NOT INVERT
CANISTER UNTIL READY FOR BLAST OFF!
4. Place rocket on the floor on newspaper or on the ground outside. Count down and
see how high your rocket flies. Be careful, rockets can blast off with great force!
The acid reacts with the bicarbonate to produce Carbon Dioxide gas which causes the
pressure in the canister to increase until it forces the lid off the canister powering the
rocket into the air.
The strength of the acid determines the ferocity of the reaction. Encourage the children
to make predictions on which will be the best fuel.
• Why are the rockets flying?
• Is this a fair test?
• Which is the best fuel?
• If we change the shape of the rocket what do you think will happen?
• How can we test this?
• Rocket design, real rocket fuel.
• History of Space exploration
• Solar System
The Creative Minds project works with museums libraries and
archives across the Yorkshire region, to provide young people with
learning opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths
(S.T.E.M.). This ground-breaking project is the first of its
kind in the country and is managed by MLA Yorkshire. This
pack was developed by Creative Minds and Eureka! The
Museum for Children with funding from Yorkshire Forward.
For a more robust rocket stick the template
to card. You could also add fins or use
your own design.
Cut along the dotted
line and over lap to
make a nose cone
Cut along dotted lines and fold
flaps to attach to nose cone