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How to Make a Film Canister Rocket

Using a few simple materials that you may already have around the house, you can design and launch your own rocket. The sky's the limit!


  • : Launch the rocket outdoors to prevent it from colliding with any breakables and reduce the risk of injury.
  • Step 1: Make rocket body Take the top off of a plastic film canister and wrap a sheet of construction paper around it. Tape it in place so that the open end of the canister sticks out at the bottom.
  • Step 2: Create a nose cone Create a nose cone for the rocket by cutting a circle out of construction paper, using scissors to make a cut to the center, and bending it into a cone shape that you can tape to the end of the tube opposite the film canister.
  • Step 3: Decorate Decorate your rocket creatively with paint or markers. If you have extra pieces of construction paper, you can cut them into the shape of fins to attach to the bottom of the rocket.
  • TIP: Position the fins around the base of the rocket tube so that they will help it stand up on its own.
  • Step 4: Put paste on lid Form a small mountain of baking soda on the inside of the film canister lid.
  • Step 5: Pour vinegar Hold your rocket upside down and fill the film canister about halfway with vinegar.
  • Step 6: Close lid and step away Put the lid with the baking soda on the canister, quickly set the rocket down, and step away.
  • TIP: You can also fill a bottle cap with baking soda and let it float in the vinegar, open side of the cap facing up. Put the lid on the canister and throw the rocket to mix the vinegar and baking soda, which will launch it.
  • Step 7: Watch it go The baking soda and vinegar will react to form carbon dioxide, and the pressure created by the gas will force the lid off the container, launching your rocket into the air.
  • FACT: The Chinese are credited with inventing the first rockets 800 to 1,000 years ago, who stuffed gunpowder into sections of bamboo tubing to make military weapons.

You Will Need

  • Film canister
  • 8-1/2x11 in. piece of construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Paint or markers (optional)
  • Bottle cap (optional)

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