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What You Need:

  1. Effervescent antacid tablet. We used Alka-Seltzer.

  2. Water.

Prepare for Lift Off!

  1. Put eye protection on.

  2. Add Water:

  3. Hold the rocket upside down with the top of the film canister removed. Fill about one-third of the film canister with water.

    The Next Steps Must Be Done Quickly!

  4. Drop half of a tablet into the water

  5. Close the cap of the film canister tight.

  6. Stand the rocket right side up on the floor.

  7. Move back and watch it blast off.

If all goes well the rocket should pop up about three to four feet into the air.


This activity can be extended by observing and measuring the difference in height that your rocket can achieve when you make changes to the amount of fuel and or the weight of your rocket. Try some of the following changes and see what happens to your rocket.

Add more water or add less water.

Add a whole tablet, a quarter of a tablet, three quarters of a tablet, or even two tablets.

Try both hot and cold water to see if one works better than the other.

The rocket is a puzzle that the children put together in pieces, so that the panels slide out. Try removing some panels. For example try to remove the panels labeled Y-2 and Y-4 to see what happens. Does this make your rocket fly higher?

Keep a record of the changes you make and their results. Try combining the changes that worked best so that you can make your rocket soar even higher.


This project is a derivative of a project published by NASA JSC in "The Space Educators' Handbook". A copy of the original activity can be found here.

Creative Commons License
REM Rockets by REM Learning Center is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.