For this week’s science project, we experimented with baking soda and vinegar.
Science Materials Needed
We gathered the materials from home:
- Baking Soda
- Mixing Cups
- Food Coloring
First, we talked about how vinegar is a liquid and baking soda is a solid. Vinegar is also an acid (acetic acid) and baking soda is a base (sodium bicarbonate). I asked WJ what he thought would happen if we mixed them together. He looked at me and said “I don’t know” so I said “let’s find out.”
I had WJ use the spoon to scoop out some baking soda and put it in one of the cups. Next, I had him pour in a little vinegar. Here’s what happened.
WJ’s immediate reaction was “Wow!” We decided that it would be easier to see the bubbles foam up if we added a little food coloring.
For the next cup, WJ added a couple of drops of green food coloring and then added a spoonful of baking soda.
Then, I had him pour the vinegar into the cup. He poured a little too much and a little too fast. We ended up with a green, foamy mess. When I asked WJ what happened he simply declared that we made “a big mess!” I told him that we may have poured the vinegar too fast and he agreed.
WJ wanted to use red food coloring for the next cup. He added in a little red food coloring and a spoonful of baking soda.
This time WJ poured much slower. He also added less vinegar. The reaction this time wasn’t quite as exciting. The bubbles didn’t even reach the top of the cup.
WJ thought that maybe we should add some green food coloring. There wasn’t much of a reaction and the bubbles soon fizzled out.
For our final cup, WJ wanted to use yellow food coloring. Again, he added a couple of drops of food coloring and one spoonful of baking soda. This time he poured the vinegar slowly and watched as the bubbles started to foam. He added a little more at a time until the bubble reached the top of the cup but didn’t spill over. He was quite proud of this result. So was I!
Here are Some Science Concepts To Discuss With Your Child
- chemical reaction (when an acid is mixed with a base, it forms a new chemical, a salt)
- base (sodium bicarbonate)
- acid (acetic acid)