Friday, January 17, 2014

Baking Soda Experiments {A Little Science Fun}


Most of us have baking soda, water and white vinegar handy, right? Well, you can use these ingredients for some fun and easy science experiments. One a recent day locked in our home due to a minor thing called the Polar Vortex, my daughter and I worked on a few baking soda experiments. They are all pretty simple yet my daughter was entirely enthralled! Who would think making CO2 could be so fun! I am including all three in this post:

Experiment Number One:
Frothing Fun

For our first experiment, we went with the most basic of baking soda experiments. All you need is baking soda, white vinegar, an empty glass and food coloring if you are in the mood to be fancy! For the experiment, we filled about 1/4 of our glass with white vinegar. Then, we added a drop or two of food coloring to be snazzy! Next, we added about a teaspoon of baking soda. Then----fizz!!!

My daughter enjoyed this but did get pretty ambitious with adding baking soda. Our glass was tall, so we did not have a mess. However, you may want to conduct this experiment on a tray to decrease the likelihood of a big mess!



For a bit about the reaction involved you can check Newton Ask a Scientist! The bubbles are filled with carbon dioxide gas that is created when one of the products made decomposes into water and carbon dioxide. Pretty cool!

Experiment Number Two:
Flame Extinguisher 

After my daughter learned about how to create carbon dioxide by combining baking soda with the vinegar, we moved on to an experiment where she could use the gas to put out a flame. For this experiment, all you will need is a candle in a glass, matches, baking soda, vinegar and a glass. For the candle, I would choose one that is in a glass but no too deep inside.


Once you have assembled your materials, light the candle. Pour a little vinegar {not a ton because you will be tilting the glass into the empty glass. Then, add a teaspoon of baking soda. Let it froth a little. 


Next, tilt the glass over the candle, Voila--the candle will go out! According to our favorite book, Giant Book of Science Experiments, the CO2 is heavier than the air. The CO2 displaces the O2 needed for the flame and smothers the flame. My daughter kept doing this experiment over and over!

 

Experiment Number Three:
Forming Crystals

For our last experiment, we needed two glasses, warm water, baking soda, a clean string, paper clips and food coloring. This experiment does take a few days, so make sure you clear a space where it is not going to get jostled. You may also want a little plate to catch extra moisture but we did not need one.

After assembling our materials, we prepared our solutions by mixing baking soda into warm water. We kept adding baking soda while stirring until the solution was super-saturated and the baking soda no longer dissolved. We did this in each glass. Then, we added a dash of food coloring to each for pizzazz! We placed our glasses near each other in a safe place where they would not get bumped. Then, we connected the two with a piece of string. We let each end dip into solutions and used the paper clips to fasten the string to the glasses. 

We just left our project alone for a couple of days. Crystals gradually grew along the string as well as along the glasses. Since the string is drier, the solution creeps up along the string. As the solvent evaporates, the crystals will form! The pictures below are from about 2 weeks of growth. Pretty cool!

For another way to do this experiment and some more information on crystallization, check out Education.com.   A great explanation of how to do this experiment with a few elements that I did not use can also be found on About.com Chemistry .

  




 



6 comments:

  1. Ooooo! I love this collection. Thanks so much for sharing!

    ~Samantha

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    1. Thanks! They are easy--perfect for being trapped inside like we have been this winter!

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  2. Very cool. I love these ideas. Found you from SITSSHAREFEST and popped over to check out your post and pin it to the SITS board, too. :)

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    1. Thanks! They are so easy and fun, too!

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  3. This is soo neat! Like a mini science class in your home - I love it! I've seen the flame extinguisher before, almost like magic! hehehe what a fun way to experiment at home! :)

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  4. learning is fun! Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop, sorry I am late stopping by. Hope to see you linking up again this week . Big Hugs

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