STEAM Bottle Rockets DIY
These science-powered bottle rockets are a simple and fun summer craft! Use Kid Made Modern duct tape and paper tubes to give your rocket some colorful flair and then launch it sky-high using simple ingredients from your kitchen cupboard. Read below for the full tutorial and learn to make your own!
- Empty plastic bottle (either a 1-liter or 2-liter bottle is best)
- A cork that fits in the end of your bottle
- Paper towels
- Baking soda
Step 1: Remove any wrappers from the outside of your plastic bottle. Wash and dry your bottle.
Step 2: Select three of the small straws from the Paper Tubes pack. Choose one color of duct tape. Place each straw on the open end of the bottle so that half of the straw is in contact with the bottle and half sticks up above the bottle. Use the duct tape to secure the straws in place so that they create a triangle around the bottle. These straws will enable your rocket to stand for its launch! Test to see if the rocket can stand up on the straws without your support.
Step 3: If you want to make your rocket even cooler, cut some shapes from your duct tape and use them to decorate the rest of the plastic bottle! Your rocket is now ready to fly!
Add a little STEAM: Prepare for launch!
To launch your rocket you will need to gather: a cork, baking soda, vinegar, paper towels.
When you are ready to launch, take your rocket into an open area with a lot of space. We launched ours at the end of our driveway! Have everyone who is watching the rocket launch stand a little bit back from where the rocket will launch. Make sure an adult is with you to help you!
Cut your paper towels into small squares, about 6” on each side. Pour some vinegar into your rocket bottle. Use a spoon to place some baking soda into the center of a paper towel square. To launch your rocket, push the paper towel with baking soda into the open mouth of the bottle with vinegar inside. Immediately after dropping the paper towel in, place the cork into the opening of the bottle, stand the bottle up on the straws and BACK UP! As the baking soda reacts with the vinegar inside the bottle, they will create a gas called carbon dioxide. This gas will eventually push the cork out of the bottle and as a result, your bottle will fly into the air!
There are a lot of different factors that can impact how high your bottle rocket will fly. In science, we call these factors variables. You can experiment with changing different variables each time you launch your rocket to see what makes it fly the farthest. Try some of these ideas:
- Try adding different amounts of baking soda and vinegar to the bottle to see what produces the best launch!
- Experiment with how tightly you place the cork into the bottle when launching. Does that impact how high your rocket will fly?
- Try using some fun colored paper to add wings or other features to your rocket - how does that change its flight?
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