Students will learn about the concept of thrust and simple chemistry. Students will make an “aquathruster” or speed boat using film canisters. Poke a small pinhole in the cap of the film canister that’s close to the edge. Use soda tablets to generate thrust inside the film canister. Full tutorial here.
Inquiry Question: how can we increase the speed (velocity) of the aquathruster, how can we make it run straight, and how can we make it run longer? Answer: turn the Alka-Seltzer tablet into powder, higher surface area = more place to react. Vitamin C tablets can be an alternative to seltzer tablets. To make it run straight, see the next paragraph.
- Here, students will also learn what a keel is (to make sure the thruster moves in a straight line.
- Students will learn simple chemistry: Baking soda (base) + citric acid = CO2 bubbles