“Rocket” experiment

How to launch a rocket of foil

A cool ex­per­i­ment which doesn’t take much time to pre­pare and that you can do with the kids!

Reagents and equip­ment:

  • kitchen foil;
  • match­es (prefer­ably long match­es);
  • bam­boo skew­ers;
  • lighter or match­es;
  • glue.

Step-by-step in­struc­tions

From alu­minum foil, cut out two pieces of a size of 610 and 22 cen­time­ters. Tight­ly roll a match head in the large piece (it’s more con­ve­nient to do this on a bam­boo skew­er). In the small piece, make a hole about the same size as the di­am­e­ter of the “rock­et” body, put it on the body and glue it there. Place the rock­et on the skew­er, and with a lighter heat the part of the body where the match head is lo­cat­ed.

Pro­cess­es de­scrip­tion

A match head con­sists of an in­cen­di­ary mix­ture with the fol­low­ing com­po­si­tion: potas­si­um chlo­rate, sul­fur and oth­er com­po­nents. When the match head is heat­ed, the potas­si­um chlo­rate starts to melt and in­ter­act with sul­fur. Sul­fur(IV) ox­ide SO₂ is re­leased (this caus­es the smell of a burn­ing match), potas­si­um chlo­ride KCl and oth­er in­ter­ac­tion prod­ucts of the com­po­nents of the match head:

3S + 2K­ClO₃ = 2KCl + 3SO₂

Safe­ty pre­cau­tions

Ob­serve safe­ty rules in work­ing with fire and flammable sub­stances.

Warn­ing! Only un­der adults su­per­vi­sion.