ghost rockets

Easy, messy, spooky, fun!

Easy, messy, spooky, fun!

Halloween fun is fueled by these “STEMtertaining” ghost rockets you can assemble using a few very-not-scary items you probably already have in the house. This experiment teaches us a lesson about chemical reactions and inertia. Add varying amounts of ingredients to explore the effects they have on the rockets — what happens if you use more or less of that sodium bicarbonate? What about a little more or less cornstarch?

Declare a scientific hypothesis and start experimenting!

Ghost Rockets

Here’s what you need:

  • Black permanent marker
  • Cornstarch
  • Plastic film canisters
  • Plastic spoon
  • Plastic squeeze bottle
  • Plastic straw
  • Rubber bands
  • Scissors
  • Sodium bicarbonate tablets (that’s baking soda-based antacid, folks)
  • Toothpicks
  • Water
  • White fabric

Here’s what you do:

  • Use the scissors to cut your piece of fabric into a large circle
  • Create ghostly fringe by cutting out small triangles around the fabric
  • Place the film canister in the center of the fabric, lid side out
  • Secure fabric around the canister with a rubber band
  • Draw a ghost face with the permanent marker
  • Open the canister and add a spoonful of cornstarch
  • Add a squirt of water to the cornstarch, and mix together with the toothpick
  • Add a sodium bicarbonate tablet, and QUICKLY replace the cap
  • Set your ghost on a flat surface outside and stand back
  • Watch your ghost take off!