Bottle Rocket Chemistry

This activity starts out with the tried and tested "Chemistry in a Bag" activity and then is taken a step farther by using the calcium chloride and baking soda to launch a soda bottle rocket.  Student pages and teacher pages are included.  A rubric which can be used for assessment is also included. As students observe the reactions taking place in the plastic bags they can observe various chemical changes.  Constructing the bottle rocket and experimenting with various amounts of the chemicals allow students to also conduct an investigation while using the engineering design process.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
GLE 0607.T/E.2
Know that the engineering design process involves an ongoing series of events that incorporate design constraints, model building, testing, evaluating,...
GLE 0807.9.3
Interpret data from an investigation to differentiate between physical and chemical changes.
GLE 0807.INQ.1
Design and conduct open-ended scientific investigations.
GLE 0807.INQ.2
Use appropriate tools and techniques to gather, organize, analyze, and interpret data.
GLE 0807.T/E.2
Know that the engineering design process involves an ongoing series of events that incorporate design constraints, model building, testing, evaluating,...
 
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
 

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Applying
Differentiation suggestions: 

To accommodate all levels of learners, for those students who need extra assistance, the teacher may explain the variables that can influence the outcome of their rocket experiment. Those variables include: the amount and temperature of the water (cool water allows extra time to get the stopper on before the gas pressure builds up inside the bottle); type of bottle used; amount of baking soda; amount of calcium chloride used. A sample table is also included for use with those students who need the extra help of having a table designed for them.

Helpful Hints

Materials Needed:

The amounts of the following depend on how many trials the teacher wants to allow and how many students are working in a group:

For Chemistry in a Bag

  • Baking soda
  • Calcium chloride (Driveway Heat or other available products)
  • Thermometers (2 per group)
  • Water
  • Sandwich bags ( 1 per student if working with a partner)
  • Measuring spoons or graduated cylinders (2 per group)
  • Safety goggles

For Bottle Rockets

  • Baking soda
  • Calcium chloride (Driveway Heat or other available products)
  • Water
  • Straws (1 per group)
  • Tape
  • Bamboo skewers (1 per group—available at Wal-Mart with low cost)
  • 16 ounce soda or water bottles (1 per group)
  • A stopwatch ( one for the class or one per group as available)
  • #3 Rubber stopper (1 per group)
  • Kleenex or toilet tissue (small amount per group)
  • Safety goggles
  • Plastic garbage bags, string, masking tape, construction paper (in case students want to make a parachute and/or fins) 

 

References

Contributors: