KSAT Kids Home Science: Build a film canister rocket

Parental supervision, goggles extra important for this one

SAN ANTONIO – Hello parents, teachers and students!

Are you looking for something fun to do at home that has a little bit of science behind it?

Well, check out this awesome at-home experiment from Sciencebob.com that creates a working rocket!

So why exactly do you think the rocket is blasted upwards? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Be sure to check out GMSA@9 on Wednesday when Meteorologist Kaiti Blake does the demonstration and explains the science behind it. To view, click on the video player above.

Build a working film canister rocket

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Empty film canisters or small pill bottles
  • Water
  • Alka-Seltzer

IMPORTANT NOTE: Parental supervision and goggles are extra important for this one, since the canisters are going to shoot up like a rocket!

Procedure/Instructions (from ScienceBob.com)

  • Put on those safety goggles and head outside – no really, when this works, that film canister really flies! If you want to try the indoor version, do not turn the canister upside down in step 5.
  • Break the antacid tablet in half.
  • Remove the lid from the film canister and put a teaspoon (5 ml) of water into the canister. Do the next 2 steps quickly
  • Drop the tablet half into the canister and snap the cap onto the canister (make sure that it snaps on tightly.)
  • Quickly put the canister on the ground CAP SIDE DOWN and STEP BACK at least 2 meters.
  • About 10 seconds later, you will hear a POP! and the film canister will launch into the air!

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.

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About the Authors:

Kaiti Blake is a child weather-geek-turned-meteorologist. A member of the KSAT Weather Authority, Kaiti is a co-host of the Whatever the Weather video podcast. After graduating from Texas Tech University, Kaiti worked at WJTV 12 in Jackson, Mississippi and KTAB in Abilene.

Ben Spicer is a digital journalist who works the early morning shift for KSAT.