In today’s experiment you will be able to watch a chemical reaction. In this experiment vinegar (a substance) and baking soda (a substance) will mix together. When mixed together the molecules of the two substances will re-arrange, or change, to make new substances.
Vinegar has acetic acid in it. The chemical name for baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. When you mix the two together you get sodium acetate and water. You also get carbon dioxide, which is a gas. The bag puffs up because carbon dioxide is a gas and takes up a lot of space. Eventually the bag isn’t big enough to hold all that carbon dioxide gas so it explodes!
You Will Need:
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Baking soda
- Snack size ziploc bag
- Quart size ziploc bag
Measure one tablespoon of baking soda into a quart size ziploc bag. Measure 1/2 cup of vinegar into the snack size ziploc bag and zip the bag closed. Put the snack size ziploc bag full of vinegar into the quart size ziploc bag with the baking soda in it. Get as much air as possible out of the quart size bag before zipping it closed. Go outside! Stand in the middle of your yard. Grip the snack size ziploc bag from the outside of the quart size bag and pull it open. As soon as the vinegar starts to mix with the baking soda drop the bags into the grass and watch what happens.
If your bag inflates, but does not explode, try increasing the amount of baking soda and vinegar. If you do this, be sure to drop the bag quickly and take several steps away after you mix the two substances together – when the bag explodes it splashes vinegar everywhere…which does not feel good in your eyes. See the dog’s nose and eyes? Too close! And…it goes without saying to do this OUTSIDE. To investigate chemical reactions further – try some more experiments at home!
Websites, Activities, Printables:
- Exploratorium: Bubble Bomb
- Science Bob: The Exploding Lunch Bag
- Chem4Kids: Chemical Reactions
- BBC Bitesize: Chemical Reactions
Science in Context: Chemical Reactions is a database you can use in any IndyPL Library Branch or at home. Login using your IndyPL library card number. The Science in Context database will show you articles, images and videos to help you learn about chemical reactions.
You can also ask a math and science expert for homework help by calling the Ask Rose Homework Hotline. They provide FREE math and science homework help to Indiana students in grades 6-12.
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