Lessons 2

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Science Lesson:
Paper Clip
Alka Seltzer Rocket

Lesson 2: Motion - Alka-Seltzer Rocket

IDEA: To design a paper rocket propelled by Alka-Seltzer and water to demonstrate Newton's third law of motion. 


  • Rocketry
  • Launch
  • Pressure
  • For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction.



    • Film canister with a snap-on lid. Look for a clear film canister, if possible.
    • Alka-Seltzer® tablet
    • Water
    • Safety glasses
    • Paper towel for clean-up (you already know that this one is going to be good!)
    • Watch or timer
    • Notebook
    • Adult helper


    How does it work?

    Carbon dioxide gas builds up so much pressure that the lid is forcibly launched.  With an Alka-Seltzer tablet, the CO2 is produced as a result of a chemical reaction.  With the soda, the CO2 is produced as a result of vigorous shaking. This provides a good contrast between a physical and chemical change.


    1. Design and launch a rocket powered by two, three or more film canisters.

    2. Design and launch a rocket that launches in two stages.