This is a quick and fun activity that demonstrates conservation of energy and conservation of momentum. Two empty water bottles are blown away from one another by a firecracker in a recoil type of reaction. You'll need a string of blackcat or other brand firecrackers, two empty water bottles, an empty paper box and a stack of pennies. This activity works for on-level and pre-AP physics depending on the scaffolding you provide with the calculations.
Sample calculations are included.
Warning: this lab is loud and your students will think you rock.
Keywords: COE, COM, momentum, energy, kinetic, potential, chemical, explosion, recoil, collision, laboratory, physics