MadSci Network: Edible/Inedible Experiments Archive

By Micheal Nichols,2014-02-24 15:49
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MadSci Network: Edible/Inedible Experiments ArchiveMadS

    MadSci Network: Edible/Inedible Experiments Archive

    Baking Soda Volcano

    Area of Science: Chemistry Meant for Grade 4-6 (age 8-10).

    This experiment is barely edible. An adult should be present. Overview:

    Create quite a fizzle by mixing baking soda/sodium bicarbonate - a base with vinegar/acetic acid. Well.. it's theoretically 'edible' but I wouldn't recommend

    tasting it (yuck!).


    1. Baking Soda - Make certain the box says 'soda,' and not 'powder.' 2. Vinegar

    3. A container to hold your reaction.

    In 4th grade we made a plaster of Paris volcano with a well in the middle to hold the 'reagents.'

    4. Paper towels, depending on the extent of mess you plan to make. Safety:

    Though the reagents are harmless, it might be a good idea to take precautions to make sure the stuff bubbling off doesn't get in your eyes. How to do the experiment:

    1. In a container place some of the baking soda.

    2. Pour in some vinegar

    3. Watch what happens.


    The above reaction represents an acid base reaction, specifically:

     baking soda acetic acid acetate ion

     | | |

     NaHCO3 + CH3COOH --> CO2 + H2O + Na+(aq) + CH3COO-(aq)

     (aq = aqueous, or in solution)

to break it down further: +-NaHCO ? Na(aq) + HCO(aq) 33

    +-CHCOOH ? H(aq) + CHCOO(aq) 33

    +-H + HCO ? HCO (carbonic acid) 323

    HCO ? HO + CO 2322

    The acetic acid neutralizes the basic sodium bicarbonate. Note that carbon

    dioxide is given off in the process, creating the fizzes, pops and crackles.

Alka Seltzer experiment

     Materials: Alka seltzer, film canister, water & pushpin or similar

     Develop hypothesis and write in science journals


     Put 20 mm water (about 4 tsp.) into canister

     Add ? of the effervescent tablet, cover and observe

     Repeat, adding ? a tab, cover and observe

     Repeat again, but this time, put a few small holes in canister lid. Add ?

    a tab, cover with lid and observe.

    Write up your experiment: Don’t forget to include your hypothesis,

    materials, procedure, results & conclusion

    From Volcano Live


    ; small drink bottle

    ; 60 ml water

    ; 1 tablespoon baking soda

    ; 1/4 cup vinegar

    ; orange food colouring

    ; few drops of detergent

    ; small square of tissue.

Making the eruption

    Place the water, soap, food colouring and vinegar in the drink bottle. Wrap the baking soda in the tissue and drop into the bottle. The volcano model will then erupt.

For extra realism

    The volcano can be made more realistic by enclosing the structure in home made play dough. Mix 6 cups of flour, 2 cups of salt, 4 tablespoons of cooking oil, and 2 cups of water in a large bowl.

    Mix the ingredients by hand until smooth and firm. Build up the mixture around the drink bottle to create the mountain. Lava channels and vegetation can be built around the volcano.

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