This lesson will teach kids about how baking soda and vinegar react. When the two ingredients are mixed together, the vinegar (an acid) and the baking soda (a base) form carbon dioxide that produces the bubbles that make cakes rise. Often recipes that use baking soda will need another ingredient with acid to make the bubbles so the bread or cake rises. In the experiment you will use the mixture of lemon juice and baking soda to create a rocket effect with a cork in a bottle. The reaction of the mixture is so powerful that it shoots the cork several feet into the air.
Things You'll Need
- Empty plastic soda or water bottle
- Cork that fits the bottle
- Bottle of prepared lemon juice
- Baking soda
- Sunglasses or protective goggles
- Measuring cup and spoons
- Paper towels
Tear or cut the paper towel into strips and attach it to the cork with tape. Cut a wide square from the paper towel to make a folded packet with the baking soda inside it. Measure 1 tsp. of baking soda and put this in the paper towel square. Fold over the corners and tape it securely closed.
Put the funnel into the bottle and measure 2 oz. of lemon juice into the measuring cup. Pour the lemon juice mixture into the bottle through the funnel. Now pour the water into the bottle through the funnel so that it is halfway full.
Put on your sunglasses or protective goggles. Now carefully drop the baking soda packet into the bottle and secure the cork to the top of the bottle. Shake the bottle well and stand back away from the bottle to observe what happens.
Stand far away from the bottle. The lemon juice and baking soda mixture will make the cork shoot up high into the sky. It could shoot very high, so stand back. You can also use lime juice or vinegar in place of lemon juice to have the same effect.
Tips & Warnings
- The experiment can be dangerous, so have an adult supervise when you are doing it. It is important to wear safety glasses or sunglasses when you perform this experiment. The glasses must be put on before you mix the baking soda with the lemon juice.
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