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CHEMICAL CANNON

Propel a toy car with the power of a simple chemical reaction

Suitable For

Grade 6

Difficulty

2

Time Required

 <2 Days

Supervision

Required

What’s it about?

A ‘chemical reaction’ is simply the breaking apart of substances to form new substances. Very often these new substances have properties that are not similar to the original substances. These new substances, also called the products, can even have explosive properties!

Try the following science experiment to see how this ‘explosive energy’ together with ‘Newton’s laws of motion’ can benefit us to propel a toy car:

Topics covered

Chemical reaction, Propulsion, Isaac Newton

What will I need?

  • NEWSPAPER
  • ALKA-SELTZER TABLET
  • ALKA-SELTZER CONTAINER WITH LID
  • STICKY TAPE
  • MEDIUM SIZED PLASTIC TOY CAR
  • SAFETY GLASSES
  • TAP WATER

Procedure (Method)

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

How does it work?

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

This science experiment is an example of a chemical reaction that produces a powerful explosive result. A substance contained in Alka-Seltzer tablets known as ‘bicarbonate’, reacts with the water, and a new substance, carbon dioxide gas, is formed. When the lid is placed tightly on the canister, this gas gets trapped and pressure builds up in the canister until it is strong enough to pop the lid off.

In the second part of this science experiment when the canister is taped to the toy car, Newton’s laws of motion come into play. The law in question states that: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The lid popping off the canister is the action, and the canister taped to the car moving in the opposite direction is the reaction.

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This particular science project can be found in any of the following Experiland e-books:

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