Acids + Bases = Explosions

So today was science day.  I’ve gone back and forth with different science ideas over the past couple of years.  I think science is fascinating, but lets be honest it’s not my field of expertise.  The past few years we’ve used different resources and it’s worked out fine.  However, this year we are studying Chemistry and well, I just couldn’t explain a chemical reaction well enough to go it alone.  So this year I bought a science curriculum.

Here are the supplies we used today.

We started with a simple acid and base experiment.  Baking soda and vinegar – standard volcano ingredients.

So we added baking soda and vingar to a cup.  And we got some bubbles.  My boys weren’t too impressed.  So we did it again but tripled the amounts of our ingredients.

They thought the overflowing cup was much more exciting.  However, we opted to go for the gusto – bring on the diet coke and mentos!

We got the bottle prepped to drop in the mentos.  Now, we had to use 3 toothpicks instead of 1 because 1 wouldn’t keep the mentos from falling in.  We tested it before removing the lid 🙂  So we get it ready, the boys drop in the mentos, I get ready to pull out the toothpicks while they run away to stay dry and then well, science doesn’t always go as planned.

I did pull out the first toothpick, then the second and then, well it was all over.  We planned to take a picture of the fountain shooting up in the air.  I however, ended up with the fountain on my head.  That’s right!  The mentos fell in too soon and I couldn’t get out of the way.  The boys thought it was great.  I had pop on my hands, glasses, and hair.  They were all giggles.  I have no picture to prove it worked, but trust me it did.

He was standing over the bottle after it was done exploding, trying to make it go again.  He kept shaking it hoping that would make it work.  All in all, he learned what matter is, what can cause a chemical reaction and about acids and bases.  I’d say science was a success today.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jen Tufts
    Sep 13, 2011 @ 14:43:33

    So cool! My coworker showed me this video, which I’m SURE will inspire their creative juices even more:


  2. Leslie
    Sep 13, 2011 @ 14:51:48

    That is awesome. We did that at CC last year and it definitely works. I am excited about chemistry in the spring…fun stuff. Glad you started blogging…I’ll add you to my sidebar on mine so I’ll see when you post and be reading 🙂


  3. fromthehive
    Sep 13, 2011 @ 15:07:19

    Jen, that video is great! They have obviously practiced a lot – they didn’t get coke in their hair 🙂


  4. jamie
    Sep 13, 2011 @ 20:30:52

    That is GREAT!! (although I would have love to have seen a photo) As you said, experiments don’t always go as planned and yet they learned and giggled what is better than that?!!


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