Today at the Science Center, we are having a blast making Bursting Lunch Bags. To do this experiment at home, you will need the following:
– One sandwich sized zip-tab bag, double-sealed if possible
– 3 tablespoons Baking soda
– ¼ cup Warm water
– ½ cup Vinegar
– Measuring cup(s)
– A tissue
Prepare for the experiment by going outside, or setting up your area near your kitchen sink. Collect your materials, read the directions thoroughly before beginning, and get ready for some explosive fun!
- Start by combining ¼ cup of water and ½ cup of vinegar in your bag.
2. Lay out your tissue and place 3 teaspoons of baking soda into the middle of it, then fold the tissue around the baking soda pile to wrap it up.
Your next steps will require that you work fast, so be prepared.
3. Zip up your bag halfway, make sure you leave enough room to add your baking soda packet. Add your baking soda packet to the bag, and QUICKLY zip the rest of the bag, making sure it is completely closed.
4. Place your bag in the sink if you are indoors, or on the ground if you are outside, step back and watch as your bag expands, and eventually pops!
5. Now it’s time to clean up your experiment. Don’t forget to recycle your plastic bags!
Experiment some more.
In order to really make this an experiment, you can alter your variables and record how it impacted your initial experiment. Here are a few questions to get you started:
- Does the temperature of the water have any impact on the outcome?
- What amount of baking soda creates the greatest reaction?
- Does the size of the bag, or type of bag have any impact on the speed of the pop?
So what’s the science behind it?
It’s pretty neat – the baking soda and the vinegar eventually mix together (the tissue serves as a temporary barrier, giving you time to zip the remainder of the bag and step away). When they finally do mix, they create an acid-base reaction, and the two chemicals work together to create a gas. The gas that has just been created is called carbon dioxide (better known as the stuff we exhale every day). Gasses need tons of room, so the carbon dioxide starts to fill the bag, and keeps inflating until the bag can no longer contain it, and then… POP!