Homeschooling

Home-Schooling with MEL Chemistry: Test Tube Rocket

Each Tuesday afternoon I get to spend time with my precious Abigail. Usually, we do some chemistry together from MEL Science. Abigail has a monthly subscription (her Christmas present this year). This week we launching a Test Tube Rocket from her second MEL Chemistry box, all about rocket science.

Test Tube Rocket

Test Tube Rocket: The Box

Abigail is sent one box per month which contains at least two different experiments. This month’s box was all about rocket science, and contained absolutely EVERYTHING to make a Soap Boat and a Test Tube Rocket:

Test Tube Rocket: Preparation

I always have Abs watch the video of the experiment, as well as reading all of the information on the Test Tube Rocket activity. This means that she sees the experiment being carried out safely in the video, and she is also aware of any safety hazards, the science behind the experiment, the trouble shooting if it goes wrong, and also how to dispose of the chemicals afterwards.

Abs then gathers all the equipment she needs to do the experiment

  • Glasses
  • Pipette
  • Measuring spoon
  • Plastic test tube with lid
  • Capsule
  • Citric acid
  • Baking Soda
  • Beaker
Test Tube Rocket

This one needed to be done outside, so Abs set us up away from the cars and buildings:

Test Tube Rocket

She measured 3 ml of water:

Test Tube Rocket

And placed it into the test tube:

Test Tube Rocket

Using the small spoon, she measured a level spoonful of citric acid

Test Tube Rocket

And placed it in the capsule:

Test Tube Rocket

She then measured out a spoonful of baking soda:

Test Tube Rocket

and added it to the citric acid in the capsule:

Test Tube Rocket

Abs placed the capsule of citric acid and baking soda into the test tube, keeping the capsule open:

Test Tube Rocket

The lid of the test tube was placed on loosely:

Test Tube Rocket

Lastly, the test tube was turned upside down (the citric acid and baking soda falls into the water) and placed into the beaker, lid down:

Test Tube Rocket

As a result, the mixture inside the test tube begins to bubble, as the gas, CO2, is produced:

Test Tube Rocket

Within seconds, the test tube disengages with its lid, and shoot up into the air, propelled by the pressure build up of the gas and subsequent release:

Test Tube Rocket

Here is a close up of the test tube launch:

Test Tube Rocket

Unfortunately, it was over quicker than you could say test tube!

Test Tube Rocket

Test Tube Rocket: Further Exploration

This was a fairly standard and familiar experiment for Abigail to do. So, I felt she was safe enough to explore using different acids and bases found in the kitchen. For instance, she used some vinegar and baking powder.

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