Adapted from Kathryn Nelson
(See Activity References)
Procedure: Before students perform experiment, have them predict if they think the paper cup will burn or not. It is important that the cup be paper!!! Have students place water in cup, about a quarter full will do. Have students note what happens to the cup. Let the water boil dry and have students note what happens to cup.
***Make sure the students have a
large bowl of water to immerse the cup in once it begins to burn.
Explanation: The paper cup didn't burn when the water was present because the energy had a place to be released. The water gave the energy a place to go. Once the water had evaporated, the cup did catch flame. The paper cup then became the source for the energy to go to. This experiment shows how a rocket is able to take off without burning up.