October 27

Exploding Pumpkins

It was great fun introducing first grade’s matter unit with exploding pumpkins. We added two liquids (1/2 cup of warm water and 1/2 cup vinegar) and a solid (1 T of baking soda wrapped in half of a tissue) to make carbon dioxide gas. The Glad quart-sized bags filled quickly and most of them exploded! Before we began this investigation, we reviewed the Scientific Method and hypothesized what might happen when we mixed these chemicals. We gathered around tables as each set of lab partners completed the experiment. Click here to learn more. Try this at home and change some variables – more or less water, baking soda, or vinegar, cold water, various brands or sizes of bags, and then analyze your results.

Then we tried to catch the gas another way. I filled a balloon with baking soda, attached it to the rim of a water bottle, and turned it upside down. The baking soda fell into the vinegar inside the bottle. The balloon immediately filled with CO2. Click here to learn more.

This bag didn’t explode, how long will it stay inflated?

Safety first! We liked wearing goggles, and thought we looked a little like bugs!

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