Dry Ice Rocket
We experimented with lots of different supplies and ways of setting up the rockets, and ended up happiest with the long neck flask stopper rocket.
This little stopper easily flies 15 feet in the air with the instructions I’m giving you. Please follow the directions to keep yourself and your kiddos the safest possible!
Safety Notes: Do not put dry ice in a sealed container, like a water bottle with a screw top lid. Dry ice is extremely cold and can burn your skin. Do not touch dry ice with your bare skin. If you cannot safely handle dry ice, you can create a very similar rocket using vinegar and baking soda.
* 1000 mls plastic long neck flask and stopper
* dry ice
* spoon (close to Tablespoon size)
Easy How To:
1. Discuss dry ice safety with your kiddos and make sure everyone has a safe spot to sit about 5 feet away from the rocket.
2. Set up the rocket platform on a flat surface by placing the flask on the flat surface.
3. Add about 250 mls of water. This is the same as about 1/4 of the flask or 1/2 of a small water bottle.
4. Use the hammer and spoon to crumble the dry ice.
5. Pour one spoonful of dry ice into the flask.
6. Place the stopper on the flask, and watch your rocket launch! Make sure when you place the stopper on the flask that you do not lean your head over the flask. If there is already a lot of pressure in the flask, the stopper will pop right back at your face! Otherwise, you may have to wait a few seconds for the pressure to build up enough to launch the rocket.
You can replace the stopper without adding more dry ice or water two or three times. Eventually you will want to reset the entire rocket. We probably launched our little rocket three dozen times before our kiddos were ready to do something else!
Here’s a short video of it in action:
How does it work?
Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide sublimates, or goes directly from a solid to a gas at room temperature. The gas builds up in the flask and pops the stopper off with enough force to send it up to 15 feet in the air!
Extensions: You can try creating the same type of rocket with film canisters that have popping (NOT twisting) lids or other beakers that have cork or similar stoppers. You can also try making the rocket shoot with vinegar and baking soda or water and alka-seltzer instead of water and dry ice!
*We’ll be moving into actual engine powered rockets soon. So far, all of our “rockets” shoot less than 50 feet in the air!
Carla is a science teacher turned homeschooling mom who blogs at Preschool Powol Packets. She loves learning new things and exploring new places with her kiddos!