February 2015

Dancing Candy Hearts (2/4/15)

MATERIALS:

  • Conversation hearts
  • Clear soda (Sprite, 7-Up, Sierra Mist, etc.)
  • Clear drinking glass

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Fill up the glass with soda.
  2. Drop some conversation hearts into the glass.
  3. Watch the hearts begin to dance!

HOW DOES IT WORK?

When you open a bottle of soda, you will usually hear a loud fizzing sound, and tons of tiny bubbles will appear. That’s because soda is carbonated – there are lots carbon dioxide bubbles trapped in that bottle! The bubbles attach themselves to the candy hearts, causing them to float. When the hearts reach the surface, the carbon dioxide bubbles pop, gas is released into the air, and the hearts fall back to the bottom of the glass.

NOW TRY THIS!

Try experimenting with different candies or objects! Does the candy still dance if you use different liquids like juice or milk?

Pop Rocks Expander (2/4/15)

MATERIALS:

  • Pop Rocks
  • Bottle of soda
  • Balloons

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Pour an entire package of Pop Rocks into the balloon. You may need a friend to help hold the mouth of the balloon open.
  2. Remove the cap from the soda bottle, and stretch the balloon over the mouth of the bottle. Be sure the Pop Rocks don’t fall into the soda until you are ready!
  3. When you are ready, dump the Pop Rocks into the soda, and watch the magic happen!

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Pop Rocks have a secret ingredient – carbon dioxide gas! Each pebble contains pressurized carbon dioxide. That’s the stuff that makes the candy “pop” when you eat it. However, the carbon dioxide found in Pop Rocks is not enough to blow up a balloon. That’s where the soda comes into play. Just like Pop Rocks, soda also contains pressurized carbon dioxide gas. When the Pop Rocks are dropped into the soda, some of the gas from the soda is released. Since the gas has nowhere to go, it rises into the balloon.

NOW TRY THIS!

  • Try different types or brands of soda to determine which one creates the best reaction.
  • Does one flavor of Pop Rocks release more carbon dioxide than another?
  • If you change the temperature of the soda, will it make a difference in the amount of carbon dioxide released?