Experiments

An experiment to do at home: What happens if you mix water, bicarbonate, salt and vinegar (or lemon)?

Introduce a very easy and fun experiment to your kids. This is something that can be done at home with things you most likely already have in your kitchen. It is really easy and does not cost so much.

Put a glass with water on the table, bring out the bicarbonate, salt and vinegar (or lemon). Ask your kids what they think will happen if you mix them together. Do you know yourself?

This experiment opens up a possibility for your kids to ask questions, wonder and explore new ideas. All that science is all about.

Step 1

Put a glass with water on the table, bring out the bicarbonate, salt and vinegar (or lemon).

Any reaction?

No.

Step2

Add some bicarbonate to the water.

Any reaction?

No.

Step 3

Add some salt to the water.

Any reaction?

No.

Step 4

Add some vinegar (or lemon) to the water.

Any reaction?

Yes!

Now you can have a chat with your kids what just happened. Do you know?

So what happens when the vinegar is mixed with water, salt and bicarbonate (or lemon)?

You have just vitnessed a two-step chemical reaction.

  1. When vinegar and bicarbonate are first mixed together, hydrogen ions in the vinegar react with the sodium and bicarbonate ions. The result of this initial reaction is two new chemicals: carbonic acid and sodium acetate.
  2. The second reaction is a decomposition reaction. The carbonic acid formed as a result of the first reaction immediately begins to decompose into water and carbon dioxide gas.

Just like carbon dioxide bubbles in a carbonated drink, the carbon dioxide (that formed as the carbonic acid decomposed) rises to the top of the mixture. This creates the bubbles and foam you see when you mix bicarbonate and vinegar.

Have you tried this experiment before?  Write a comment below to share your experience!

Remember to let your kids ask questions, wonder and explore new ideas. All that science is all about.

Marika

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