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Friday, May 11, 2007

Science in the Kitchen: the Bicarb Experiment

What happens when Bicarbonate of Soda (aka Baking Powder) is mixed with different pantry products?

What you need: Bicarbonate of soda, drinking glasses, teaspoon, a range of different pantry liquids.

Method: Boy set up five glasses and add an inch of the following products: one product per glass.

  • Malt vinegar

  • Balsamic Vinegar

  • Water

  • Mango Juice

  • Coca-Cola

Systematically, and one at a time, Boy added a teaspoon of Bicarbonate of Soda to the liquids.

Outcome: The different results were marked:

  • Malt vinegar fizzed

  • Balsamic Vinegar really fizzed up

  • Water did not fizz at all (this may change depending on the pH of your water supply)

  • Mango Juice did not fizz

  • Cocoa-Cola fizzed.

Variations: Add different amounts of Bicarb to five glasses of the same liquid. After the experiment was over, Boy added double the original amount of Bicarb to the malt vinegar. It produced a greater fizz and the bubbles crept up over the top of the glass and down the side to make a nice little fizzing mess on the bench!! Worked well though.

How does this work: Bicarbonate of Soda reacts with acids, releasing carbon dioxide which bubbles up through the solution. The more acidic a liquid, the more fizz produced. But what about when cooking butter, sugar and Bicarb together? That creates a fizz yet there’s no acid in the ingredients? Sugar likes to oxidize so that’s why you get a fizz when you add bicarb to a mixture on the stove (like Anzac Biscuits).

Boy’s rating of this Science in the kitchen project: 5/5.

For more simple science experiments for early and middle school years, have a look at Deakin University’s Ideas for Teaching Science: Years P-8 Chemical Change


Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

I taught science for many years and nothing, but nothing is more fun than fizzy little messes on the bench. Except maybe fizzy big messes on the bench.

Looks like so much fun! Thanks for your comment on my blog today, by the way. I needed the kind words and the hug.

I am still feeling ferklempt. I am wondering about hormones--as in peri-menopause. I have to FIND and then re-read the Warga book. LOL!

Kaber said...

FUN!!! Have you tried dropping one raisin into a glass of Sprite or 7-Up? that's always fun.....

Muratos said...

Very interesting experiment. Read this science blog for more home experiments.

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