Simple but effective, children will love creating this high-flying rocket. It can shoot up to five metres into the air, so it’s best to make use it outdoors and stand back before blast off; you may also want to provide safety glasses for children to wear. It’s important to choose a film canister that snaps shut inside rather than one that closes around the outside, as this helps the gas to build and propels the rocket further.
Visit http://mpassero.tripod.com/rocket/seltzer/seltzer.htm to see diagrams of how to make the rocket.
• Coloured card
• Crayons or coloured pencils
• Empty 35mm film canister
• Sticky tape
• A drinking straw
• Tape measure
• Alka-Seltzer tablets
1. Draw the templates (visit http://mpassero.tripod.com/rocket/seltzer/seltzer.htm to see how) and colour them in. Cut out the fins and then cut out the nose cone and body out as one piece.
2. Roll the body template around the outside of the film canister and stick it down with the sticky tape, ensuring that the lid of the canister is the base of the rocket
3. Roll the nose cone template into a cone shape and tape it together. Straighten the nose cone point so it’s in the centre at the top of the rocket and tape it to the sides.
4. Fold the fins so that the colored sides are facing outwards Tape or glue the fin halves together to form a complete circle.
5. Slide the fins over the body and tape in place.
6. Cut a 1-inch piece of straw and tape it to the body facing vertically upwards.
7. Place the rocket near an outside wall if possible. You can then hang tape measures over the wall to measure how high the rocket flies.
8. Place the Alka-Seltzer tablet in the canister, add the water and put the lid of the film canister back on. Stand well back. It may take 15–20 seconds for the gas to propel the rocket into the air. However, do not approach the rocket before it has blasted off.