This a classic experiment that can be used to learn a LOT of science. From chemical reactions, surface area, temperature, pressure, Newton’s Laws and MORE!……… all while having FUN.

Here we look at the simple way to make rockets using film canisters, vinegar, bicarb and also using water and Aspro Clear. Check it out and get into some Crazy Rocket Science.



Materials List

Film Canisters (hard to find, but we sell NEW canisters in bulk amounts)crazy film canisters materials

– Bicarb of Soda

– Vinegar

– Mixing implement (paddle pop stick, plastic spoon, etc)

– Mixing container (we used a plastic petri dish)

– Safety Glasses (not pictured BUT highly recommended)






1. SAFETY GLASSES: you must wear glasses to protect your eyes and have adult supervision.

2. Vinegar is a mild acid and get react with sensitive skin and eyes. Wash hands with water and soap. Glasses will prevent any vinegar entering your eyes.




Mix some water with the bicarb to make a thick paste. The paste should be slightly thicker than toothpaste.

crazy film canisters step 2 Crazy film canisters step 3 crazy film canisters step 6b



In the top of the lid there is a recess into which you should place some of the paste from step 1. When inverted, the paste should NOT fall off the lid.

crazy film canisters step 6a crazy film canister step 7



Pour some vinegar into the film canister container. We used 3 canisters and poured different amounts of vinegar in each to investigate if the amount of vinegar affects how high the rocket launches.

crazy film canisters step 5



Now to launch!

Make sure BEFORE you turn the film canister over that you are wearing your glasses and there is no other person near you.

Quickly invert the canister and using a straight arm, place it on the ground. Keep your face away from the canister. Count down and launch it into the air!

crazy film canister step 9 crazy film canister step 9a



Check out the ‘Wacky Science’ video of this experiment and ‘What’s Going On’ series link. They are currently ‘In Production’, so check back soon…..


Wacky Science Ep

What's Going On?


 There is SO MUCH you can learn and explore with this experiment. We will examine Newton’s 3rd Law here.

(Check out our BRIGHT SPARK GUIDE …. coming soon, OR our subscription series) if you want more in depth experiments using this FUN experiment.

Newtons’ 3rd Law states

” for every action, there is an equal BUT opposite reaction”


This law explains why we walk, push skateboards and many more. In this experiment it explains why the film canister body goes flying into the air.

As the bicarb and vinegar combine inside the canister (a chemical reaction), a gas is produced. This gas (carbon dioxide) explands and increases pressure inside the container.




The pressure expands in ALL directions. Because the lid is the weakest area, it is the place where the liquid and gas escape. As the gas and liquid push downwards out of the lid (action), the inside of the container gets pushed upwards (reaction) and into the air.





Other ways to explore:

– How does the volume of vinegar affect the height of the canister?

– How does the amount of bicarb in the lid afect the heght of the canister?

– Does the temperature of the vinegar make a diference?


If you would like

– more details,

– pictures of the second half of the experiment

– information on how to investigate this further

– links to everyday examples

– management hints & teaching pointers (5P Teacher develpoment program)

 ….. then why not subscribe to one of the following


(1) Crazy science Club

Crazy Science Club slider5

(2) 5P Teacher Training course called ‘Looney Lab  Classroom Creations

Looney Lab Classroom Creations2


Or you can purchase the ‘Bright Sparkes Guide’ of this demonstration only ($2.50) which has:

  • HD pictures of experiment steps
  • Detailed explanation of science
  • Mini-challenge section (another experiment)
  • Making it a ‘Scientific Method’ experience
  • Graphing opportunities
  • REAL links and descriptions to everyday examples of concept.