INGREDIENTS FOR OUR EXPERIMENT – Fizzing Colors
Credit: Happy Hooligans
Plastic spray bottle
Then the fun began!
We instructed everyone to fill their plastic droppers with the liquid watercolors and squeeze drops of color onto the layer of baking soda. Once everyone had their color dots they sprayed them to see what would happen and VOILA! There was a chemical reaction! The dots bubbled and fizzed creating a reaction you could see and hear!
What happens when you mix vinegar with baking soda? There’s a lot of bubbling and foaming! The bubbles and foam you see are filled with carbon dioxide gas (co2) that’s being released by an acid/base reaction. Vinegar is acetic acid dissolved in water and baking soda is a base called sodium bicarbonate. Initially, the reaction makes carbonic acid which is unstable. It quickly breaks down into CO2 and water. The gas then rapidly leaves the water creating foam & bubbles.
Credit: Steve Spangler Science
After creating some chemical reactions, the children explored the materials in different ways. Some realized that spraying too much vinegar into the baking soda/liquid watercolor mixture created a watery mess. By adding more baking soda to this watery mixture, the children watched it become thicker and more like dough. Some experimented with creating an art piece with the colors as they watched patterns and textures change when they added more water or baking soda or both. Some were content to explore how everything felt – one boy put his feet into his watery experiment, another was fascinated with the dough-like consistency of his creation and even asked for more baking soda to create a crumbly mixture he could squeeze between his fingers.
Another byproduct of our chemistry experiment? Great art!
Budding Scientists at Work