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Product 11451

By: Deborah Maloney, Hollis Brookline High School, Hollis, NH

Rockets, Reactions and Ratios Guided-Inquiry Kit for Chemistry is an exciting STEM inquiry-based competition that takes the common reaction of baking soda and vinegar to new heights.

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Take the common reaction of baking soda and vinegar to new heights in this exciting STEM inquiry-based competition! The goal is to find the right ratio of rocket mass to baking soda mass to propel a paper rocket a vertical distance of 1 meter.

Students engage in engineering practices as they design and construct a paper rocket to contain a film canister “fuel tank.” Next, using their knowledge of chemical reactions and mole ratios, they determine the optimal amount of baking soda for a given amount of vinegar to use as the rocket fuel. Students then identify and test variables that may affect the reaction and the rocket trajectory. For the final competition, the rocket that clears the meter mark with the greatest rocket-to-baking soda mass ratio is the winner! This activity is a great capstone project that applies the concepts of chemical reactions, stoichiometry, data analysis and more in a fun and engaging way!

Complete for 30 students working in pairs.

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Asking questions and defining problems
Planning and carrying out investigations
Engaging in argument from evidence
Obtaining, evaluation, and communicating information

Disciplinary Core Ideas

MS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
MS-PS2.A: Forces and Motion
HS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
HS-PS2.A: Forces and Motion

Crosscutting Concepts

Cause and effect
Scale, proportion, and quantity
Energy and matter

Performance Expectations

MS-PS1-2. Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.
HS-PS2-2. Use mathematical representations to support the claim that the total momentum of a system of objects is conserved when there is no net force on the system.
MS-PS2-2. Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object