Holiday Club at Irchester: Rockets and Air-zookas!

Hello and welcome to the Lab_13 Blog!!!

Today’s blog is about… the Lab_13 Irchester Half Term Holiday Club! All the children who came to the club had LOTS OF FUN!!! They made rocket fuel (for POP ROCKETS not REAL ROCKETS) by experimenting to see which mixture of chemicals would react the best by making lots of fizz and bubbles. They also used the lab’s giant air-zooka and made their own mini air-zookas to take home, after using them to knock down their huge cup towers!

We will tell you how to make pop rocket fuel and mini air-zookas, so you can do it yourself too!

For the rocket fuel, we used three liquids: vinegar, water and laundry liquid, and three solids: citric acid (powder), Bicarbonate of Soda (also a powder) and fizzy vitamin tablets (a tablet).

The best combination for us was…………


The reason they were the winners was because they fizzed (reacted) the most, and the fizzing shows that the reaction is making a gas, which is what makes the rocket launch!  They reacted because the citric acid is an acid, and the laundry liquid is an alkali.


To make a pop rocket you will need:

  • A sealable pot with a push lid: like an old film canister.
  • Some of the liquids and solids listed above
  • Tissue paper

To make your rocket ready to launch:

  • Put your chosen liquid into your sealable pot and place a sheet of tissue paper on top.
  • Place your chosen solid on top of the paper and put the lid on gently.


    Pot half filled with laundry liquid, and citric acid on the tissue paper.

To launch:

  • Go outside!
  • Clip the lid on properly and turn your pot upside down to mix the chemicals together to start the reaction.
  • Put your rocket on the floor and step back quickly!

The rockets made a big mess in the playground, but luckily the rain washed it all away. Science club loved seeing how high the rockets went, much higher than they expected!

The air-zooka works by pushing all the air inside the container out of the hole, whenever you ping the sheet at the back. It makes a ball (or vortex) of moving air that you can feel hit you even at the other end of the room!

The mini air-zookas work just the same, except they are much smaller. You could still knock down cups towers with them though!

How to make mini air-zookas you will need:

  • Disposable cup
  • Balloon
  • Scissors
  • 2p coin
  1. Firstly blow up the balloon to stretch it then let all the air out.
  2. Secondly tie a knot in the balloon and chop it in half leaving the knotted end. We’ll need that later.
  3. Next, cut a hole in the bottom of your disposable cup, the size of the 2p coin.
  4. Then, stretch the knotted end of the balloon over the top the disposable cup.
  5. Ping the knot to fire!

Everyone at holiday club really enjoyed the day. Finlay’s favourite part was launching the rockets, while Miss Draper enjoyed shooting everyone with the air-zooka!

By Charlotte and James

About lab13network

Lab_13 is a space in a school managed by pupils for pupils to conduct their own research and experiments driven by their curiosity, imagination and enthusiasm, and under the watchful supervision of a Scientist in Residence (not a teacher!!).
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One Response to Holiday Club at Irchester: Rockets and Air-zookas!

  1. drnicko says:

    Funnily enough, I was in Irchester yesterday! How about a course on the art and science of stained glass?!

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