Lesson 1: Build and Launch a Rocket With Items From The House!

April 23, 2020 by Minerva Tutors,

How To Build A Rocket In Your Kitchen And Launch It In Your Garden

Ever wanted to build and launch a rocket at home? Chief Science Tutor Jack shows everyone how this is done.


  • Empty plastic bottle, 330ml works well
  • Vinegar, about 100ml
  • Baking soda, 1 tablespoon
  • Cork to fit the bottle
  • Wooden sticks or pencils, 3 or 4
  • Tape
  • Loo roo, a couple of sheets
  • Paper, coloured pencils and anything you need to decorate your rocket!

Safety Reminders

All experiments are by their nature capable of going wrong and producing unexpected consequences. Therefore:

NEVER perform chemical experiments when you are alone.

ALWAYS be under the supervision of a responsible adult.

ALWAYS follow instructions carefully and completely. Do not cut corners or vary measurements.

ALWAYS think: Safety First. Be cautious and use good common sense. In particular, if you spill anything clear it up straight away and if it gets on your hands don’t touch your face or eyes.


Suitable for all ages with child supervision


  1. First prepare your rocket. To do this take your empty plastic bottle and tape the 3 or 4 wooden sticks/pencils around the outside of the bottle so that they extend past the cap end of the bottle. When this is done your bottle should be able to stand up with the cap side pointing towards the ground.
  1. Next, decorate your bottle however you like. Let your imagination go wild for the most inventive design and decoration, but remember if your rocket gets too heavy it won’t travel as high when you launch it. Don’t forget to send us a pic if you create an impressive rocket!
  1. Next place a tablespoon of baking soda onto the centre of a small square of tissue. As best you can wrap the baking soda up in the tissue to form a barrier around the baking soda.
  1. After taking what you have made outside, as well as the vinegar, find a suitable launch site for your rocket that allows you to stand 4 big steps away from it. You should also check again that your rocket will stand up on its own, and that it is not going to get blown over mid-launch!
  1. When you are ready to launch your rocket, start by pouring the vinegar into your rocket. When you’re ready to go, do the next steps quickly: place your tissue-wrapped baking soda into the bottle; quickly place the cork firmly inside the neck of the bottle to act as a stopper; carefully stand your rocket up on its legs and take 4 large steps back.
  1. Watch as your rocket launches up into the sky – you may need to wait a few seconds but don’t approach the rocket again until it has launched! You can repeat this experiment with different amounts of baking soda and observe to see if that has an effect on how high your rocket goes.

Now, why don’t you try…?

Using different amounts of baking soda to see if this has an effect on how high your rocket goes.

Doing some more research on one of the topics, Jack introduced during the lesson and making a poster or digital display. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • How does a Rocket work?
  • Humans in Space – an Illustrated Timeline of Space Flight
  • Acids and Alkalis – What’s the Difference?
  • Who is Isaac Newton and what is his Theory of Gravity all about?

Creating some Space-themed ART or making up a piece of MUSIC inspired by space!

For more fun science experiments to try at home see here

If you’d like to talk to us about more science experiments to try at home or to speak to one of our science tutors please fill out a Contact Form or email hello@minervatutors.com, call +44 (0) 2088193276 or WhatsApp

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