Weird Science: Alka Seltzer Rocket - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Weird Science: Alka Seltzer Rocket

Alka Seltzer rocket experiment Alka Seltzer rocket experiment

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For this week's experiment, Dr. V shows us what happens when we mix Alka Seltzer tablets with water. Check it out!

Dr. V Show: Alka Seltzer Rocket

 

Things you need:

  • Film canister (white Fuji film ones work the best)
  • Water
  • Alka Seltzer tablets
  • Cut-out pattern of nose cone and fins (cardstock works well)
  • Eye protection

 

The Experiment:

Cut out the fins and nose cone. Fold the flaps back 90 degrees to make fins. Glue or tape the nose cone cut-out along the opposite edge. Wrap and glue or tape the fin sheet around the canister with the fins on the cap side of the canister. Glue or tape the nose cone to the bottom of the canister. Fill the canister ¼ full of water. Drop ½ to a full tablet of Alka Seltzer in, immediately close the lid and set rocket on the ground. Stand back. BLAST OFF!

 

So that's how it works…

The Alka Seltzer tablet includes bicarbonate of soda which has the gas carbon-dioxide locked away in it's structure, and a dehydrated acid (such as citric or tartaric acid) this does not behave as an acid until you put it in water, at which point the acid releases the carbon-dioxide. The carbon dioxide gas builds up pressure in the film canister until it forces the cap off the canister, launching the canister body into the air.

 

What happens if…

You use more water?

You use more or less Alka Seltzer tablets?

You don't have fins? Or the nose cone?

 

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