National Space Week

Since its United Nations declaration in 1999, World Space Week has grown into the largest public space event on Earth. More than 3,700 events in 80 countries celebrated the benefits of space and excitement about space exploration in 2017.  The 2018 theme is “Space Unites The World” and 2019 theme “The Moon:  Gateway to the Stars."

World Space Week offers a unique opportunity to help develop your students’ interest in space and astronomy, not only is it an area of Science that captures the imagination and minds of young learners, it also leads to some pretty cool experiments.

It’s not rocket science to build your own rocket!

You will need

For the launch pad

  • Tube or pipe
  • Duct tape
  • Wood block

For the rocket

  • Balloon
  • Scissors
  • Pen
  • Sharp pin or similar
  • Elastic band
  • Plastic bottle
  • Cling film
  • Vinegar (preferably white as it’s less messy)
  • Bicarbonate of soda (also known as baking soda - not baking powder)

Follow these easy steps


  1. First cut off the neck of the balloon. Draw a small spot roughly in the middle of the top of the balloon and then use the pin to pierce the balloon through this spot. Keep this close to the launch site together with the elastic band.
  2. Fill the bottle with vinegar until it’s about one-quarter to one-third full.
  3. Put 2-3 heaped teaspoons of baking soda onto a square of cling film and wrap it into a parcel small enough to fit in the neck of the bottle. (NB: Don’t wrap the cling film too tightly, as the soda eventually needs to escape to react with the vinegar.)
  4. Insert the soda parcel into the bottle and then close it using the pierced balloon and the elastic band. Make sure the hole is positioned over the opening of the bottle. Don’t worry if vinegar drips out. Now insert the rocket carefully into the launcher, balloon-end first. Never look directly down the launch tube.
  5. Stand back and wait for lift-off!


Alternatively, Philip Harris have our own range of exciting space items which you can buy here.