Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Volcano Experiment

I think everyone has done "The Volcano Experiment" at some point in their lives.  Baking soda, vinegar, bubble and fizz.  Jude gives it bonus points, because it makes something explode.  

This experiment was actually at Celia's request.  Last spring, Matthew did some experiments with Jude and Damien.  Not to be left out, she wanted a turn to show them one that she did in school.  To contain the mess, we took this one outside.

Two ingredients is all you need. Add baking soda to the container.

 And then add vinegar.


"But lava is red!" cried Jude.  Washable poster paint. Problem solved.  Just add it on top of the baking soda.  (You could mix it with the vinegar, or add food coloring to the vinegar, but since I use that small bottle for filling the fabric softener dispenser of my washer, I wasn't willing to add dye to the bottle.)  A couple of tablespoons' worth is enough - go ahead and eyeball.

 NOW go ahead and add the vinegar.

So cool.  The acid of the vinegar reacts with the basic property of the baking soda, and the reaction gives off water and carbon dioxide. In other words, you get bubbles.

But Jude remained unimpressed.  Sure, it was bubbly and grew, but that's not an explosion.

So mama gave up, and we got out the big gallon bottle of vinegar.

With enough reactants in the container, we had ourselves some serious bubbling.

Jude was impressed.  We had a big mess.

Celia wasn't quite so impressed. Her foot was pink.

Washable paint definitely holds an advantage.  A little soap and water, and her foot was clean.  Food dye probably would have stained her skin for a day or two.

Jude volunteered to hose out the container, and the remnants from the driveway.

Sure, we learned about acid and base, but the best part of the day was one got to play teacher, and one got an explosion.   (I also got a clean driveway.)  Sounds like a winning day to me!

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