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Simple Rocket Science Experiment: Bicarb Soda and Vinegar Rocket

  • 17th June 2024
  • Uncategorised
Here’s a fun and easy rocket science experiment you can do at home using household items. This experiment demonstrates the principles of chemical reactions and propulsion.

Materials Needed:

  • Small plastic bottle (like a water bottle)
  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • Vinegar
  • Tissue paper
  • Cork or a tight-fitting cap
  • Tape
  • A paper or plastic cone (optional, for the rocket nose)
  • Fins made from cardboard or stiff paper (optional)


  1. Prepare the Rocket:
    • If you want to make your bottle look more like a rocket, you can attach a paper or plastic cone to the bottom of the bottle (which will be the top when it’s upright). You can also attach fins to the sides of the bottle using tape.
  2. Make the Bicarb Soda Packet:
    • Take a small piece of tissue paper and put a few tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda in the centre.
    • Fold the tissue paper around the baking soda to create a small packet. This will delay the reaction between the bicarb soda and vinegar, giving you time to seal the bottle and get to a safe distance.
  3. Add the Vinegar:
    • Pour about 1/4 cup of vinegar into the bottle.
  4. Launch Preparation:
    • This step needs to be done quickly. Drop the baking soda packet into the bottle with the vinegar.
    • Immediately seal the bottle tightly with the cork or cap.
    • Place the bottle on the ground, cap side down, and step back quickly.
  5. Launch:
    • The chemical reaction between the bicarb soda and vinegar will produce carbon dioxide gas. As the gas builds up, pressure inside the bottle increases until it forces the cork or cap out, launching the bottle into the air.

Safety Tips:

  • Conduct this experiment outdoors in an open area.
  • Stand back once you’ve placed the bottle on the ground.
  • Make sure there are no obstacles or people in the way of the rocket’s launch path.

How It Works:

The reaction between bicarbonate of soda (a base) and vinegar (an acid) produces carbon dioxide gas. This gas builds up pressure inside the sealed bottle until the pressure is too great, and the cork or cap is forced out. The rapid release of gas propels the bottle upwards, demonstrating the basic principles of rocket propulsion.

Enjoy your mini rocket launch and explore the wonders of simple rocket science right from your back garden! 🚀