fizz, pop, boom, rockets

Fizz, Pop, Boom, Rockets -Alka-Seltzer® Rockets

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Inspired by, Be Cool Grandpa

When Alka-Seltzer is dissolved in water, it undergoes an acid-base reaction that releases carbon dioxide gas.

Time: set up - gather rocket tubes or film canisters, plus other items

Activities: 4 plus

Skill level: medium - Adult supervision & Eye protection. This is an outdoor activity.


Eye protection
  • Tubes with snap on lids. Film canisters or recycled ZipFizz energy drink tubes work great.
  • tubes - Amazon link
  • canisters - Amazon link
  • Alka-Seltzer® tablet cut in pieces - Amazon link
  • Small bowl with warm water
  • Smooth outdoor surface for launching the rocket.

instructions for activities:

IMPORTANT: Eye protection and adult supervision!

  1. Divide the Alka-Seltzer tablet into four equal pieces.
  2. Fill the canister/tube half way with water.
  3. Place 1/2 of the Alka-Seltzer tablet in the canister/tube.
  4. Snap the lid tight then turn the container/tube upside down so the lid is down.
  5. Stand back and wait for it to pop and fly high. (Note: it may take 10 to 30 seconds to pop.)

grandpa’s thoughts:

This is an outdoor activity - messy and can get sticky!

What’s happening? This is a chemical reaction. As the antacid tablet fizzes, carbon dioxide is released inside the canister. Pressure from the gas builds and eventually pops the lid off. The thrust, or push, of your rocket is related to how much pressure built up inside the canister before it pops.

Have fun and experiment and try different ratios. For example, what happens when you add more water and less seltzer tablets?

  • Can you catch the canister after if pops?
  • Try to see how many rockets you can set up before the first on pops
  • How high can you get your rocket to fly?

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