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Mini-whoosh bottle – using rockets to understand combustion reactions | Teach with space c01

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ESA / Education / Teachers' Corner

Language: English, French (teacher's guide)French (student activity)

Subjects: Chemistry, Physics |

In this practical investigation, students will perform a combustion reaction using a mixture of alcohol and air in a plastic water bottle. The students will observe a rapid reaction accompanied by a dramatic ‘whoosh’ sound, simulating what happens when fuels are lit during a real rocket launch.Through answering a series of discussion questions, students will first conclude that combustion reactions are exothermic, before identifying the reactants and products of the reaction and considering different fuels. Students will also practice balancing chemical equations.

Laboratory science is related to real-life science, and students will find out about some different types of ESA rockets, as well as how these work. They will also consider the similarities and differences between the laboratory science and the real-life science.

Download the teacher guide and student activities documents separately.

Format: Teacher’s guide and student activities
Age range: 14 – 17 years old
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Mini whoosh bottle - classroom demonstration video, VC01
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