Start of main content
Age Range: 5-7 | 7-11
Duration: 0-29 mins
  • D & T
  • Maths
  • Science

Acids and alkalis

Learn how to make Rudolph fly like a rocket with our fun science experiment.

Make a flying rocket for Rudolph in this festive STEM activity for kids!

This quick and simple science experiment will teach students about the result of the chemical reaction between an alkali (bicarbonate of soda) and an acid (white wine vinegar) when you try and trap the gas that is produced.

Top tip: do this one outside, as it can be messy.

What equipment will you need?

  • a plastic camera film canister
  • bicarbonate of soda (or an effervescent tablet)
  • white wine vinegar
  • paper
  • scissors
  • colouring pencils
  • a red nose
  • sticky tape

How to do it?

  • Step 1
    Cut out a piece of paper so that it is tall and wide enough to wrap around your plastic canister.
  • Step 2
    On the paper, draw your very own Rudolph and colour it in.
  • Step 3
    Stick the red nose on Rudolph.
  • Step 4
    Take the lid off your plastic canister and turn it upside down so the open end is face down on the table.
  • Step 5
    Wrap the picture around the plastic canister and stick it in place.
  • Step 6
    Turn the canister the other way up so the opening faces upwards (Rudolph should now be upside down).
  • Step 7
    Fill the canister halfway with white wine vinegar.
    Now this is where you need to be super speedy:
  • Step 8
    Drop an effervescent tablet into the canister, put the lid on tightly, then turn it upside down (Rudolph will now be the right way up).
    Wait for him to blast off!

For more content from Marvellous Marthy, have a go at our Snow Blizzard in a Jar activity you can find in Santa’s STEM workshop.

Watch the video from Marvellous Marthy and download the free activity sheet below to join in the fun this Christmas!

All activity sheets and supporting resources are free to download, and all the documents are fully editable, so you can tailor them to your students’ and your schools’ needs.

The activity sheet includes teacher notes, guidance, useful web links, and links (where appropriate) to the national curriculum in each of the four devolved UK nations; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Oh ho ho, and please do share your experiment highlights with us @IETeducation! #SantaLovesSTEM.


Rocket Rudolph

Marvellous Marthy shows us how to make a Rudolph shaped rocket!

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