STE(A)M Activity

In the spirit of Halloween, here is an example of a ~spooky~ STEAM activity called Ghost Rockets!

Flying Ghost Rockets- these rockets fly high into the air. FUN Fall Science kids love

In case you forgot what the learning cycle looks like, here is a quick 3 minute               video explaining the learning cycle:

Here is the learning cycle following the ghost rocket demo:


  • Attention getting
  • Creates interest in the topic
    • Chemical reactions
  • Throughout this demonstration, ask questions such as:
    • What do you think will happen when I add the alka-seltzer?
    • Why does it help that the film canister is so small?
    • What allowed the film canister to fly up in the air?

Ghost rockets Halloween activity


  • Give the students different materials to work with, and see which lab group can come up with the strongest reaction that gets the film canister to go the highest in the air.
  • The provided materials that the students have to work with:
    • Water, Sprite, Vinegar, Lemon Juice, Soda Water
    • Mentos, Baking Soda, Pop Rocks, Toothpaste
  • Have them write down any observations in their journals

Image result for animated chemical reactions mentos


  • As lab groups, have them come up with their own definition of what a chemical reaction is and what the characteristics of a chemical reaction are
  • Explain what they found/ didn’t find in the “explore”
  • Share their results/observations with the class
    • Ex. was there a color change? did the reaction release a gas?

Image result for chemical reaction definition


  • To apply the concept of chemical reactions, the students (as lab groups) would be assigned to create a presentation on a specific chemical reaction of their choice
    • It can be the reaction they did in the explore, or another one that they researched
  • The presentation would include a demonstration (that I have approved) of their chemical reaction, followed by a 4-5 slide powerpoint presentation explaining the chemistry behind their demo

Related imageEvaluation

  • To assess their level of understanding, I would have each group collaborate and write down which presentation of all of the groups (not including their own) they thought demonstrated/explained chemical reactions the best.
  • I would then have each group write down two things they liked and two suggestions they have for every group.


Ghost Rockets for Kids. (n.d.). Retrieved from


  1. Katie

    Wow, I love this activity. I’ve never heard of ghost rockets before so that was really cool to see in action and super cool that you posted this just in time for Halloween! I thought your blog was a terrific balance of thoroughness as well as being easy to read! For the evaluation piece, how would you the teacher end up grading them? Completion, participation, a summitive of the student feedback? I feel like peer feedback is super important but I can never seem to pin down how far to take that when actually having to grade something. Overall, amazing article, I learned about a cool little project I could use with my future students!

  2. Hello Katie!
    Ghost rockets?! Awesome! I watched the video. This is an awesome activity especially for halloween. It is engaging because it uses the 5 E’s to teach children by letting them do things on their own (making the rocker, experimenting, describing the chemical reaction, etc. Way to Go! I love how you include the video reminding us what the 5E’s of the learning cycle are. Since you are biology and chemistry. This would work wonders in your field. You could do this activity just before halloween! Especially when kids are super exited for the weekend. I think the experiment part matches STE(A)M very well. It incorporates art, science, and engineering! That is very important in a lesson. It is engaging where the kids are moving around and doing something. I have an issue— I lecture too much! This would be an awesome experiment even for high school students. They will definately get a kick out of this. Great post and I like how you wrap everything together. If I could suggest one thing, I would suggest talking a little bit more about what STE(A)M is in the introduction. I don’t know if that was part of the assignment, but I did it in mine. Guess I will find out! I love how you separate everything into bullets. As for me, I struggle. Awesome post! You need to try these out in your chemistry class one day, Miss Welsh!

    Delaina 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Delaina! I really appreciate all of your positive feedback! I’m going to be honest, I was a little worried at first that this activity was going to be too childish for a high school classroom . But then I got to thinking that high schoolers would love the opportunity to get out of their chairs and make something explode!
      As for your comment about talking more about what STEM is in the introduction, I totally agree that that’s something I could of done! I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to or not, and I didn’t want to make my blog too long. I included the video so if people needed a refresher, they could watch the video rather than read a paragraph on the topic!
      Thanks again for all of your positive feedback!
      Katie 🙂

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