Combine a liquid and a solid and watch the chemical reaction that’s BIGGER than the components themselves!
- Very Messy
- 15 Minutes
You Will Need
½ cup white vinegar
1 zip-top bag (sandwich size works best for these measurements)
10 drops food coloring
2 tablespoons baking soda
Clothespin or twist-tie
- Head outside with all of your ingredients.
- Ask your scientist to observe the ingredients. What do they see? What do they smell?
- Pour the vinegar into the bag and add a few drops of food coloring.
- Twist the bag above the level of the vinegar and secure with a twist tie or clothespin.
- Above the tie, add the baking soda to the bag, and zip the bag shut.
- Carefully take the tied-off bag to an area of a yard or sidewalk you don’t mind getting messy.
- Remove the twist-tie or clothespin, allowing the baking soda to fall into the vinegar, and toss the bag onto the grass or sidewalk.
- Watch as the bag blows up like a balloon!
How it works
First, a little bit about acids and bases. An acid is a substance that can donate a hydrogen ion to another substance. A base is an acid's chemical opposite. A base is a substance that will accept the acid's hydrogen atom.
When the baking powder is dropped into the vinegar, a chemical reaction takes place, and releases carbon dioxide gas into the bag. If the space inside the bag isn’t big enough for all of the gas that is produced, the bag might pop and ooze out some colored foam. Cool!
- An acid is a substance that can donate a hydrogen ion to another substance.
- A base is an acid's chemical opposite. A base is a substance that will accept the acid's hydrogen atom. Bases are molecules that can split apart in water and release hydroxide ions.