This Cork Rocket Experiment was so much FUN for the whole family!! It's a great way for kids to learn about Science through FUN!! It would also make a great science fair project.
What you'll need
- Safety Goggles
- Recycled Wine or Champagne corks
- Empty plastic drink containers (we used two varieties with differing sized openings to best fit our corks)
- Bicarb Soda (baking soda)
- White Vinegar
- Curling ribbon
- Paints, Permanent markers and stickers to decorate your corks and bottles if you wish.
Firstly you will need to make sure the corks fit snugly inside the bottle opening - the experiment will only work when there is a tight seal.
I spray painted both the large bottle and corks, then used stickers to decorate them in a space theme. We used the thumb tack to secure some curling ribbon to the base of some corks - these looked great and made the corks easier to spot as they were launched into 'space'.
Safety first - This is designed to be an adult supervised outside activity. You will ALL need to wear safety goggles to protect your eyes and NEVER aim the corks towards anyone - it is best to have all observers stand a few meters away from the launch site.
Then comes the BEST part - launch time!!
Simply fill each bottle with 125ml of Vinegar, add 1 tablespoon of Bicarb Soda, very quickly squeeze the cork into the top of the bottle and stand clear... 3, 2, 1 We have lift off!!
Your cork will shoot straight upwards for quite a distance - you will also find the force makes the bottle 'jump' in the air too.
Why does the cork pop? The Vinegar and Bicarb Soda are mixing together creating a chemical reaction - this reaction is creating a build up of carbon dioxide gas. This gas has nowhere to go as it expands inside the bottle and eventually makes the cork 'rocket' explode into the air!