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Rocket Science: Baking Soda + Vinegar = Lift Off!

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Samuel Folaranmi

on 14 March 2014

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Transcript of Rocket Science: Baking Soda + Vinegar = Lift Off!

Rocket Science: Baking Soda + Vinegar = Lift Off!
Our project was to test if vinegar played a larger part in launching the canister than the baking soda. When the baking soda and vinegar mixed heard lots of fizzing and there was foam. The pressure caused by this mixture created carbon dioxide, which caused the canister to launch. Our hypothesis was correct. As the amount of vinegar decreased the height of the launch decreased as well. We learned that the mixing of the baking soda and vinegar created CO2. For future projects we could try Mentos or Alka-Seltzer in Coke.
Samuel Folaranmi, Nneka Umoh, Markayla Gamble
Which variable affects the launch height of the plastic canister the most, vinegar or baking soda?
If the amount of vinegar isn't enough, then the plastic canister will not be launched very high into the air because for there to be a successful launch there has to be enough vinegar to react with the baking soda.
Plastic film canister with a lid and tight seal.
Masking tape or painter's tape.
Outdoor space next to a tall exterior wall, with nothing above it, where tape can be applied.
Permanent marker
Metric ruler, tape measure, or meter stick
Baking soda (1 fresh, unopened box)
White vinegar (1/2 gallon bottle or jug)
Measuring spoon, 1/8 tsp.
Measuring spoon, 1 tsp.
Safety goggles
Lab notebook/something to record data
The purpose of this experiment was to determine the correct ratio of baking soda to vinegar that will result in the highest launch of a plastic canister.
1. Go outside to your test site, which should be an open area next to a tall exterior wall, with nothing above it. Prepare the test site so you will be able to measure how high the rocket goes.
Put a long piece of masking tape or painter's tape on the wall, just 15 centimeters (cm) from the ground.
Then put a long piece of tape every 15 cm up after that until you reach the top of the wall..
Use the permanent marker to label each piece of tape.
2. Now prepare the baking soda for the rocket.
Place 1 teaspoon (tsp.) of baking soda in the bowl.
Turn the film canister lid over and tightly pack the inside with the baking soda
Record the amount of baking soda that you used in the data table in your lab notebook.
3. Go over to the outdoor area where you put tape strips on the wall and prepare your experiments
4. Launch your rocket.
Put on your safety goggles. Stoop down near the ground on a flat, hard spot and quickly snap the lid onto the canister to seal it. Immediately turn the canister over so the lid is on the ground, and quickly move away.
Wait for the chemical reaction to occur (the time depends on the amount of baking soda and vinegar you are using).
When the lid finally pops off, the rocket should overcome gravity and launch. Watch to see how high it goes and record the launch height in the data table in your lab notebook.
5. Carefully rinse out the lid and canister with water.
6. Repeat steps 1–4 two more times, always recording the launch height in the data table in your lab notebook.
Decrease the amount of vinegar in the canister by 1 tsp. and repeat steps 1–5. Record all of the data in the data table in your lab notebook.
Background Info
A chemical reaction is a process in which one or more substances are converted to one or more different substances.In order for the plastic canister to be launched a chemical reaction, between the baking soda and vinegar, will need to occur as shown (NaHCO3+CH3COOH yields CO2 + H2O + CH3COONa). This is a combustion reaction because energy is produced. Our project uses that energy to launch the plastic canister.
Science Fair
Independent: baking soda and the white vinegar
Dependent: the height of plastic canister
Controlled: the type of baking soda and white vinegar used
rocket weighed less than a pound
about half of the baking soda stayed in the cap after launch
wind speed was about 9 mph
loud pop when rocket launched
fizzing when rocket was about to launch
the bottle hardened before launch
the smell of vinegar was very strong after launch
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