Summer Science

Post date: Jul 28, 2012 12:28:16 AM

We have been having some pretty big adventures with vinegar and baking soda over the last few weeks. We began with a big tray of baking soda and syringes full of colored vinegar. The children spent hours experimenting with the resulting fizz, which was fascinating and also beautiful.

Next we did a really cool and successful experiment with a bottle of vinegar and a balloon full of baking soda. When we attached the balloon to the mouth of the bottle, the baking soda fell into the vinegar. We saw the fizz, and realized it was caused by gas bubbling up. The gas filled the balloon and it inflated all by itself!

Finally, we made the old classic, the baking soda and vinegar volcano. We discussed the project before we began. The children were able to make predictions about how the baking soda and vinegar would work together to create a lava effect. We examined photographs and diagrams of volcanoes to decide and how to make our mountain look. Then the children sculpted it out of clay around a plastic bottle.

We decided to start with the baking soda in the bottle this time instead of the other way around.

We made a mixture of vinegar, water, paint, and--just for good measure--glitter. We poured it in and...

Wow! Mt. Starling erupted!

When we finally finished with our lava flow, we had an amazing time dismantling the project. The gooey, fizzy sensory experience was as much fun as the experiment!

This volcano experience was one of the most absorbing we've had at Wee Works. The children had spent so much time experimenting with baking soda and vinegar ahead of time that they were very thoughtful about their strategies in building and setting off the volcano. Sometimes these volcanoes are just a big fizzy flash in the pan, but this one felt like a great hands-on science experience!