Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Balloon that Inflates Itself (a Science Experiment)


That title is probably a little deceiving. The truth is, we blew up a balloon without it ever touching our lips - thanks to a gas-producing chemical reaction. 

With older brother away, this was the perfect experiment to pass some of the day. My six-year-old son was in awe!


What You Need
Empty plastic water/soda bottle
Balloon
3 tsp. baking soda
1/3 c. vinegar
2 people

What to Do
Pour about 1/3 c. vinegar into your empty plastic bottle. Set aside.


Now one person holds open the neck of the balloon while another empties three teaspoons of baking soda inside it. (Yes, a mess is inevitable.)

Push the baking soda down so that it's resting on the bottom of the uninflated balloon.


Carefully stretch the neck of the balloon over the top of the bottle without spilling any baking soda inside.

Now hand the bottle over to your child and instruct them to shake and swirl the bottle until the baking soda is emptied from the balloon.

Watch what happens. The balloon inflates!


How it Works
When the baking soda and vinegar combine, a chemical reaction occurs. Carbon dioxide gas is created and, without anywhere to go, pushes up through the neck of the bottle, inflating the balloon.

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