Watch the short video below to find out how to make a fizzing rocket.

Items you'll need are:

  • Vinegar
  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • Plastic canister with lid (e.g. film canister or plastic Easter egg)

Science behind the experiment

When Bicarbonate of Soda (an alkali) and vinegar (an acid) come together it causes a chemical reaction.

This reaction produces the gas Carbon Dioxide, you can see and hear this happening when the mixture starts to fizz. It also creates greater pressure inside the canister, as the amount of gas increases within the small space it will push out on all the sides until eventually the pressure increases so much that it pushes the lid off the canister and you have a mini rocket.

Key Terms

  • Acid – A chemical with a pH of less than 7.0.
  • Alkali – A chemical with a pH of more than 7.0.
  • Carbon Dioxide – A colourless gas containing one carbon and two oxygen molecules.
  • Chemical Reaction – Atoms are rearranged in a chemical reaction but not created or destroyed, the substances that react together are call the reactants and the substances that are produced are called the product.

Activities and Questions

How quick was the reaction?

Is there a difference if you change your acid or alkali?

  • Acid – swap vinegar for lemon juice.
  • Alkali – swap Bicarbonate of Soda for an effervescent tablet.