Guide to Propulsion
Propulsion Pop! Activity
If so instructed by your teacher, print out a worksheet page for these problems.
Activity: Controlled Propulsion Experiment - Film Canister
A film canister, Alka Seltzer, and water can demonstrate how a rocket engine works. The Alka Seltzer in the film canister, when mixed with water, produces a gas. When there is too much gas to hold in the canister, we say there is a high amount of pressure. This pressure needs to be released, so the lid of the film canister pops off.
You are going to demonstrate this and measure the distance the canister travels. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to model the thrust that is produced in a rocket.
9. How is the Propulsion Pop! Activity similar to a rocket? How is it different? Click Rocket Propulsion to access information on rockets from the Beginner's Guide to Propulsion.
10. What happened when you added one quarter? Two quarters?
11. Why do you think your results turned out the way they did?
12. If you could modify this experiment, what would you do differently? Be detailed in your explanation.
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