Halloween is the perfect time to craft creepy chemistry concoctions! Clear a spot in your kitchen, put on some clothes that can get messy, and get ready to make some colorful, fizzy, foamy chemical reactions.
CHEMICAL REACTIONS happen when different chemicals bump into each other, break apart, rearrange their parts, and make brand new chemicals.
Sometimes there are clues that a chemical reaction has happened – there are changes you can detect with your senses. Some chemical reactions produce color changes, others create odors, and others produce bubbles. Keep your senses tuned to find clues as you do this experiment.
NOTE: Even though you may be tempted, it’s not a good idea to drink these bubbling brews. They would taste terrible!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
- safety goggles or sunglasses
- tray or cookie sheet to keep any mess contained
- medium-sized glass, jar, flask, or beaker
- liquid measuring cup
- tap water
- food coloring
- dish soap
- spoon or stir stick
- baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
LET’S GET STARTED
- Put on your safety goggles.
- Set your glass in the middle of the tray (cookie sheet).
- Add ½ cup of water to your glass.
- Add some drops of food coloring to color your brew. For green, add blue + yellow. For orange, add red + yellow. What colors would you mix to make a purple brew?
- Add ¼ cup of vinegar to the colored water.
- Add 1 small drop of dish soap.
- Use a spoon to gently mix together the water, coloring, vinegar, and soap.
- Now add 1 tablespoon of baking soda to the mixture.
- Watch and wait for a reaction.
What do you see? Do you see a bubbling brew? What do you think is happening?
WHAT’S GOING ON?
In this experiment, when you added the baking soda to the mixture, it combined with the vinegar to produce a chemical reaction. In the water, the tiny baking soda and vinegar molecules bumped into each other, broke apart, rearranged some of their pieces, and created a brand new molecule – a gas called CARBON DIOXIDE. You may have heard of it – it’s also called CO2. The CO2 gas bubbles were trapped by the dish soap making lots of fizzy, foamy bubbles!
MIX IT UP!
Try making more or fewer bubbles by changing something about the experiment. Try changing just one thing at a time. What if you use less water? What if you add more vinegar? Or more baking soda? What happens if you leave out the dish soap?
For even more fun, try adding glitter to your concoction. We bet you can come up with a special recipe for your own signature bubbling brew!
Let us know what you did. Share your photos and results with us on Facebook, Twitter, or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We love getting your messages!
For more exciting chemistry experiments, check out our Foundation Chemistry Kit at www.yellow-scope.com.
The Yellow Scope Team
Here are some examples of our bubbling brews. What did yours look like?