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  • Melissa

Erupting Lemonade

Updated: Jun 2, 2021

One thing working with kids has taught me is that nothing says "science is AWESOME" like an explosion! So, It seems fitting to begin my blog with bubbles and fizz.


In this activity you will make the molecule carbon dioxide by mixing lemonade and baking soda.


Supplies:

  • 1 plastic tray

  • 1 cup

  • 1 mixing stick

  • 1 packet of lemonade (make sure the first ingredient is citric acid)











  • 1/2 tablespoon of baking soda

  • about 1/4 cup of water


Instructions:

1) Place your tray on a flat surface – this will be used to contain the mess of your eruption!


2) Add about ¼ cup of water to your cup.


3) Open your lemonade packet and dump the powder into your cup of water.


4) Use your popsicle stick to stir in the lemonade powder – it doesn’t have to dissolve completely.


5) measure your baking soda and dump it into the lemonade. Use your eyes and ears to notice what happens.



6) What did you notice? How did your lemonade eruption look? Did you see any bubbles? Hear any fizzy noises? Those bubbles and fizzy noises tell you a gas was made! The gas is called carbon dioxide. Where else have you heard of carbon dioxide? It is the gas that gives fizzy drinks their fizz, and also a gas that you blow out when you are breathing.


7) Cleanup: safe to rinse down the drain.

 

In this activity, you performed a chemical reaction. A chemical reaction happens when two or more different molecules combine to make new molecules.


Here is one way to describe your chemical reaction:


lemonade (citric acid) + baking soda → carbon dioxide + sodium citrate + water


There are 4 big clues that can tell you a chemical reaction has happened.


1) A solid is made. If you have ever seen curdled milk or cottage cheese – those curds are an example of a solid that is formed from milk through a chemical reaction.


2) A gas is made. You might notice this by seeing bubbles or hearing fizzing noises.


3) Energy is released or absorbed – this could be the release of light like when you crack a glow stick, or the release of a smell like when a match is lit, or the release of a noise like a popping or a booming sound when a firework goes off, or a change in temperature – so the reaction might start to feel colder or warmer.


4) A color change happens. You may have noticed this if you ever added vinegar or baking soda to red cabbage juice, or perhaps noticed your apple turn brown when the flesh is exposed to the air for awhile.


As you saw, the lemonade and baking soda reaction produces a gas. If you stuck your finger in the lemonade before and after mixing in the baking soda, you may have also noticed a temperature change. If you have a thermometer on hand, you could try measuring the temperature change!


before baking soda:

after baking soda:

Depending on the starting temperature of your lemonade, and the timing of your temperature checks, you may not record the same numbers as I have here. The important thing to note is that the temperature drops during the reaction, so this is an endothermic or heat-absorbing reaction.


Click below to download a pdf of the Erupting Lemonade DIY science kit for easier printing.


erupting lemonade
.pdf
Download PDF • 79KB

Make messes, have fun and spread science joy!

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