Build a Rocket - and a Launch Pad!

Source Institutions

Source Institutions

Add to list Go to activity
Activity link broken? See if it's at the internet archive
In this activity, learners construct a rocket powered by the pressure generated from an effervescing antacid tablet reacting with water, and build a launch pad for their rocket. This activity includes step-by-step instructions, a video connecting to NASA engineering, a "what's going on section" that explains the science behind the activity, suggested questions to engage your learner, and a suggested extension to the activity. This activity includes low-cost materials and can be done at home.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 18

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • 1 small plate or pie pan
  • Construction paper
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • Plastic 35 mm film canister
  • Cellophane tape
  • Effervescing antacid tablet (like Alka-Seltzer)
  • Paper towels
  • Water
  • Eye protection


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Aerospace Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Reactions
    • Motion and Forces
      • Newton's Laws
    • States of Matter
      • Gases

Informal Categories

  • Transportation


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access