Find out the missing ingredient needed to mix oil and vinegar with an emulsion experiment.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

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Science Projects for Kids: Chemical Reactions

With these science projects for kids: chemical reactions, your children can learn that, simply put, chemical reactions happen when one substance is turned into another. Whether the color changes, the shape, the flexibility, or even an explosion occurs, these are all types of chemical reactions.

The best part is that there's a project here for everyone. If your kids are interested in creating a bubbly mess, there's a project here for that. If your children enjoy leaving others in wonderment as to how they bent chicken bones, you can find it here. Or if they simply enjoy watching colors change before their eyes, they can do that, too. There are plenty of science projects for kids that involve chemical reactions.­

Keep reading to learn how to make science projects for kids: chemical reactions.

Foam Cup Meltdown

Help your kids melt a foam witch into a jar of acetate and sculpt be-witching masterpieces with the sticky goo.

Chemical Poppers

Your children can find out what happens when baking soda and vinegar are placed in a plastic film container.

Acid Test

By simply pouring vinegar on rocks, your kids can find out if the rocks contain calcium carbonate.

Pee Pals

Have your children gross out their friends while discovering that carbon dioxide gas can make heavy objects float.

The Battle of Liver and Potato

Find out if a piece of liver or a potato produces more bubbles when placed in hydrogen peroxide.

Foam Machine

Help your children create a bubbly concoction when they add vinegar, baking soda, and powdered laundry detergent.

Bleeding Red Cabbage

After boiling the cabbage, your kids can experiment on ways to turn the cabbage red and then green.

Deconstruct Black Ink

Your children can discover through chromatography (separating chemicals' components) that black ink doesn't just contain one color.

Rust Resistant

Have your kids find out what happens when oxygen and water are added to steel wool.

When Good Juice Goes Bad

Before an audience, your kids can magically transform red grape juice into green juice.

Emulsion Experiment

Your kids can discover what ingredient is needed to help oil and vinegar stay mixed together.

Knotted Bones

Watch your kids amaze their friends with rubbery chicken bones they can tie in a knot.

Erupting Volcano

Your children can construct their own volcano made from simple household items.

Keep reading to learn how kids can melt a witch in acetone, and then mold the sticky remains.

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Your hand-drawn witch seems to shrink in foam cup meltdown once she's placed in acetone.

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Foam Cup Meltdown

Help your children create a foam cup meltdown when they dip a hand-drawn witch in acetone and turn the sticky witch goo into molded art.

Safety First:

­Make sure your children wear goggles to protect their eyes from the acetone and wear rubber gloves to prot­ect their hands. Make sure they don't pour the acetone into a plastic bowl because it could damage the bowl. Do this activity in an area with good air circulation.

What You'll Need:

  • Foam cup
  • Pen
  • Goggles
  • Rubber gloves
  • Acetone (nail polish remover)
  • Glass or metal bowl

How to Create a Foam Cup Meltdown:

Step 1: Have your children draw a picture of a wicked witch on an upside-down foam cup.

Step 2: Ask your kids to put on the goggles and rubber gloves. Help them pour acetone into the bowl so it is about 1/2 inch deep.

Step 3: Assist your children with putting the witch into the acetone, feet first. Then watch as the witch melts, just like the wicked witch in The Wizard of Oz. As your children watch, you can all say in your best witch voices, "I'm melting, I'm melting."

Step 4: When the witch has totally melted, help your children reach into the acetone (with the rubber gloves still on) and pull out the goo. Then have your kids mold it into any shape -- when it dries they will have a statue.

What Happened?

Similar to salt dissolving in water, polystyrene foam dissolves in acetone. The foam in the cup holds millions of tiny pockets of air. This makes the cup a great insulator, keeping your hot chocolate warm on cold days. When the foam dissolves in the acetone, the air is released, and a sticky goo results. When the foam goo hardens, it doesn't have air pockets anymore.

Keep reading to have your kids learn what happens when you baking soda and vinegar are combined.

For more super science projects for kids, check out:

Adding vinegar to baking soda in a film canister will create a noisy chemical popper.

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Chemical Poppers

Amaze your kids when you have them create chemical poppers by adding baking soda and vinegar to a film container. Make sure everybody nearby is wearing goggles to protect their eyes from the popping lid. Do this project in the kitchen or outside for easy cleanup.

What You'll Need:

  • Facial tissue
  • Teaspoon
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Plastic 35mm film container
  • Goggles

How to Create Chemical Poppers:

Step 1: Have your children tear the tissue so they have a 4x4-inch square. They should put one teaspoon baking soda into the tissue square. Have them wrap it into a ball.

Step 2: Your kids should put three teaspoons vinegar into the film container. Make sure they put on the goggles.

Step 3: This part is tricky. Have your children hold the lid of the film container in one hand. They should then put the baking soda wrapped in tissue into the container. Make sure they quickly put on the lid and that the lid is snapped shut all around.

Step 4: Have everyone stand back, and watch the kaboom happen! When vinegar (acetic acid) is mixed with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), it produces a chemical reaction. Carbon dioxide gas is produced. As more and more gas is produced, pressure in the film container builds, until POOF! The lid is blown off, revealing bubbling foam. It is important to have the lid completely snapped on or the carbon dioxide gas will sneak out the sides and the pressure will not build. Try having your kids vary the concentration of vinegar and baking soda until they have the perfect concentration that will allow them enough time to put the lid on but still produce the loudest pop. If they are really fast at putting the lid on, try it without the tissue. They can put the baking soda directly into the vinegar. This produces a bigger pop and a more oozing mess.

For another vinegar experiment, keep reading science projects for kids: chemical reactions for your kids to learn if rocks in their backyard contain calcium carbonate.

For more super science projects for kids, check out:

Acid and Rocks

Rocks such as limestone, marble, calcite, and chalk react with the acid in this way. Acid rain can also break down rocks, just as vinegar can. Many ancient buildings and statues are made of marble, and acid rain is causing some of them to slowly dissolve.

Acid Test

Challenge your children to check to see if rocks and minerals contain calcium carbonate with an acid test.

What You'll Need:

  • Rocks
  • Small cups
  • Vinegar

How to Create an Acid Test:

Step 1: Have your children gather several small pieces of different kinds of rock. They should then place each piece into a different cup.

Step 2: Ask your kids to pour enough vinegar in each container to almost cover the rock. Have them check to see if the rock starts fizzing. If it does, they'll know that the rock contains calcium carbonate because the acid in the vinegar reacts with calcium carbonate to cause the fizzing.

Keep reading science projects for kids: chemical reactions to learn how your kids can gross out their friends and learn about carbon dioxide gas at the same time.

For more super science projects for kids, check out:

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Pee pals can gross everyone out, but they also help teach about carbon dioxide gas.

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Pee Pals

Pee Pals will gross out your kids' friends while proving that carbon dioxide gas bubbles can make heavy objects float. In this activity your kids drink soda that they pretend is urine. Of course, no one should ever drink real urine! Remind your kids to not drink or eat things they make in chemistry.

What You'll Need:

  • Raisins
  • Small bowl that looks scientific
  • Tablespoon
  • Water
  • Beaker or tall glass
  • Yellow soda

How to Make Pee Pals:

Step 1: Have your kids put four to six raisins in a bowl with one tablespoon water. The raisins will absorb some water and look more like bugs.

Step 2: Ask them to pour the yellow soda into the glass. They should hide the soda bottle and the raisin box.

Step 3: Invite your children to round up an audience. Have your kids hold up the glass with the yellow soda, and have them explain to the crowd that this is pee. Tell them to feel free to use the scientific name, "urine."

Step 4: Have your children hold up the raisins in the bowl. They should tell the audience that the raisins are bugs that have been genetically engineered to get their food from pee and to clean the pee.

Step 5: Make sure your kids explain that the scientists who engineered the bugs named them Bugus Urinalis but their nickname is Pee Pals. Have your kids say that the Pee Pals are a little sluggish until they eat.

Step 6: Have your kids drop the Pee Pals into the glass, and have everyone watch as the pals will sink to the bottom. They should explain that the bugs are now eating.

Step 7: After a short time some of the pals will rise to the top of the surface and then fall back down. They will keep repeating this "dance." Your kids should inform the audience that the Pee Pals rise to the top to get oxygen and then fall back down to the bottom to clean the urine.

Step 8: After a few minutes your children should announce in a dramatic way, "The Pee Pals have cleaned the urine!" Have your kids ask for volunteers to drink it. When everybody says, "No way," your kids can dramatically drink the beverage. Then have them tell everybody how good it tastes. The raisins sink to the bottom of the glass of soda because they are denser than the soda. The fizz (or carbonation) of soda is from the carbon dioxide gas it contains. When carbon dioxide bubbles attach to the raisins, the raisins rise. At the surface the bubbles are released, and the raisins sink back down to the bottom of the glass.

Keep reading science projects for kids: chemical reactions to learn how your kids can make a bubbly experiment with a piece of liver and a potato.

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Find out who will win in the battle of the liver and potato.

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The Battle of Liver and Potato

In the battle of liver and potato, your kids will learn a lot about little bits of food. Make sure your children are careful with sharp knives. Have them wash their hands after handling liver. Make sure they don't drink hydrogen peroxide; they should wear goggles to avoid getting hydrogen peroxide in their eyes.

What You'll Need:

  • Potato
  • Liver
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Goggles
  • Hydrogen peroxide (3% solution)
  • 2 test tubes (or similar shaped glasses)
  • Ruler
  • Dish soap
  • Science stirrer (or coffee stirrer)
  • Paper and pencil

How to Create the Battle of Liver and Potato:

Step 1: Have your children cut small, equal-size pieces of raw liver and potato.

Step 2: Make sure they put on their goggles. Help your children pour hydrogen peroxide into two test tubes until it measures about one inch in each.

Step 3: Have your kids add one drop dish soap to each test tube, and make sure they stir gently.

Step 4: At the same time, they should place a piece of liver in the first test tube and a piece of potato in the second. Ask your kids which test tube produces the most bubbles? Have them record the foam heights in each test tube. Dropping pieces of liver and potato into the hydrogen peroxide results in bubbling as oxygen is released. The interaction of the bubbles with the soap solution produces a good amount of foam. Liver produces more bubbles and foam than the potato. Liver wins because it has a greater amount of catalase -- the enzyme that breaks down hydrogen peroxide.

For another bubbly project for your kids, keep reading science projects for kids: chemical reactions to learn what happens when vinegar, baking soda, and laundry detergent are combined.

For more super science projects for kids, check out:

Create a mess with a foam machine made from vinegar, baking soda, and laundry detergent.

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Foam Machine

This foam machine is so much fun, your kids may forget they're learning about chemistry. Make sure your children wear goggles while doing this activity. And be sure they do this activity over a covered area or the sink.

What You'll Need:

  • Goggles
  • 2 test tubes (or similar shaped glasses)
  • Powdered laundry detergent
  • Teaspoon
  • Vinegar
  • 2 science stirrers (or coffee stirrers)
  • Baking soda
  • Water

How to Create a Foam Machine:

Step 1: Make sure your kids put on the goggles. Have them place 1/2 teaspoon powdered laundry detergent into test tube A. They should fill it 1/3 full with vinegar, and then stir gently with a stirrer.

Step 2: Have your children place 1/2 teaspoon baking soda into test tube B. They should fill it 1/3 full with water, and then stir gently with second stirrer.

Step 3: Ask your kids to pour the contents of test tube B into test tube A. Then have them check it out! Watch the foam as it oozes and oozes all over the place. The acidic vinegar and the alkaline baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) produce a chemical reaction. Carbon dioxide is produced by the reaction. It combines with the soap to produce foam that oozes out of the test tube.

Keep reading science projects for kids: chemical reactions to learn how your kids can magically change the color of cooked cabbage.

For more super science projects for kids, check out:

Make a bleeding red cabbage by adding a little vinegar, then turn it green again with ammonia.

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Bleeding Red Cabbage

Help your children make a bleeding red cabbage with a little vinegar, and then they can magically turn it green with some ammonia. Make sure your kids wear goggles and rubber gloves when using ammonia and vinegar. They should also avoid skin contact with ammonia. If ammonia gets on their skin, wash immediately with lots of water.

What You'll Need:

  • 1/4 head red cabbage
  • Knife
  • Saucepan
  • Measuring cup and spoons
  • Water
  • Strainer
  • Pot
  • Funnel
  • Glass bottle with cap
  • Goggles
  • Rubber gloves
  • 3 test tubes (or glasses)
  • Pipette (or eyedropper)
  • Vinegar
  • Ammonia

How to Make Bleeding Red Cabbage:

Step 1: Help your children cut cabbage into chunks. Have them put the cabbage into the saucepan with two cups water. Help them heat the pan to a low boil on the stove. Then turn off the heat, and let water cool.

Step 2: Help your kids pour the cabbage juice through the strainer into a pot. Make sure to use a funnel to pour the cabbage juice into the bottle. Then have your kids throw away the cabbage. Your kids have made the cabbage juice indicator.

Step 3: Have your children test their cabbage juice indicator. Make sure they put on their goggles and rubber gloves. They should put two tablespoons of the indicator into each test tube. Have them then add two tablespoons of water to each test tube to dilute the indicator.

Step 4: Your children should add a few drops of vinegar to the first test tube, a few drops of ammonia to the second test tube, and a few drops of water to the third test tube. (Make sure they rinse the pipette well between liquids.)

Step 5: Have your kids compare the color in each test tube. Afterward, they should keep the cabbage indicator in the refrigerator for other experiments. Boiling the cabbage let its pigment escape into the water. This pigment is pH sensitive. So when you added vinegar, it turned red. The cabbage indicator turns red in acidic solutions. When you added ammonia, it turned green. The cabbage indicator turns green in an alkaline solution.

Keeping the theme of colors in mind, keep reading science projects for kids: chemical reactions to learn how your kids can determine what black ink is really made of.

For more super science projects for kids, check out:

Fun Fact

Chromatography is used in chemistry to separate chemicals. For example, the pigments in leaves can be separated with alcohol and filter paper. The reason for the separation of colors in chromatography is that different chemicals dissolve at different rates and adhere with different amounts of force. We can learn a lot by testing with chromatography.

Deconstruct Black Ink

Your children can use chromatography to deconstruct black ink and find out what color the ink really is.

What You'll Need:

  • Coffee filter paper
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Black water-soluble marker
  • Glass
  • Water

How to Deconstruct Black Ink:

Step 1: Have your children cut a 1 x 4-inch strip from the coffee filter paper. With a marker, they should draw a person one inch above the bottom of the strip. Then have your kids hang the strip over the side of a glass so the drawing is in the glass.

Step 2: Ask your children to add just less than an inch of water to the glass. The drawing of the person should be above the water. And then everyone can watch what happens. The water rises up the filter paper and dissolves the ink from the marker. The water carries this ink up the filter paper, and the person stretches. As the water moves up the filter paper, colors appear as the ink is separated. Even though your kids might have thought black ink was just black ink, black ink is actually made of several colors.

Keep reading science projects for kids: chemical reactions for your kids to learn what chemical reaction creates rust.

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Learn what chemical reaction to avoid so your prized possessions will be rust resistant.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Rust Resistant

Nobody likes rust to form on their favorite toys, so have your kids learn what chemical reaction to avoid in order to become rust resistant. Make sure your kids wear rubber gloves to avoid splinters when handling steel wool.

What You'll Need:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Scissors
  • Steel wool
  • 3 test tubes
  • Water

How to Make Rust Resistant:

Step 1: Make sure your kids put on the rubber gloves. Have them cut three small equal-size pieces of steel wool, and place a piece into each test tube. Don't have them add anything else to test tube one.

Step 2: In test tube two, have your kids add enough water to totally cover the steel wool. In test tube three, have your children add enough water to cover half the steel wool.

Step 3: Make sure they leave the test tubes alone for a few days, and then have them observe the results. Only the steel wool in test tube three rusted. This is because both water and oxygen are needed for this chemical reaction to occur.

Keep reading science projects for kids: chemical reactions to learn how your kids can magically transform the color of grape juice.

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When good juice goes bad, nobody wants to drink it, but you can still change the color.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

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When Good Juice Goes Bad

When good juice goes bad, nobody wants to drink it. But your kids can trick an audience into thinking that they can turn good juice into bad juice in the blink of an eye. Make sure your kids wear goggles and rubber gloves when working with ammonia to avoid skin contact. If ammonia gets on their skin, wash immediately with lots of water. Clean glasses well after use. Don't let anybody drink from the glasses until they have been cleaned well with soap and lots of water! Never eat or drink the chemistry experiments!

What You'll Need:

  • 3 glasses
  • Goggles
  • Rubber gloves
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Vinegar
  • Ammonia
  • Water
  • Red grape juice

How to Create When Good Juice Goes Bad:

Step 1: Have your children set up the glasses. Ask them to put on the goggles and rubber gloves.

Step 2: Have your kids add 1/2 teaspoon vinegar to the third glass, 1/8 teaspoon ammonia to the second glass, and 1/3 cup water to the first glass. Have them also add one teaspoon red grape juice to this glass.

Step 3: Tell your kids to not let the audience know there is anything in glasses two or three. Have them hold up the first glass and say, "We start with juice." They should pour the liquid from the first glass into glass two. The solution will become green. Have them say, "Good juice has now gone bad."

Step 4: Have your children ask the audience to hope real hard that the bad juice will become good juice again. Your kids should pour the liquid from glass two to glass three. The solution turns pale red again! Have your children announce that the good juice has returned. Grape juice changes color when it is combined with an alkaline substance. The solution is pink in glass one because the pH of water is close to neutral. When poured into glass two, it turns green because the ammonia creates an alkaline solution. When poured into glass three, the acidic vinegar neutralizes the alkaline solution, and the solution becomes pink again.

Keep reading science projects for kids: chemical reactions to learn what ingredient your kids will need to keep vinegar and oil mixed together.

For more super science projects for kids, check out:

Find out the missing ingredient needed to mix oil and vinegar with an emulsion experiment.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

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Emulsion Experiment

Have your kids mix up an emulsion experiment to figure out what eggs-tra ingredient is needed to keep vinegar and oil together. Do not taste or eat anything you make in chemistry.

What You'll Need:

  • Measuring cup and spoon
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • Vinegar
  • Mixing spoon
  • Eggbeater
  • 1 egg, separated

How to Make an Emulsion Experiment:

Step 1: Have your kids add 1/2 cup vegetable oil to a mixing bowl. Then have them mix in one teaspoon vinegar. Note what happens.

Step 2: They should use the eggbeater to mix the vinegar and oil. Have your kids stop mixing, and watch the mixture for a few minutes. Note what happens. Your kids have shown that vinegar and oil don't stay mixed.

Step 3: In another mixing bowl, have your kids add one teaspoon vinegar and one egg yolk. They should beat the egg mixture until it is good and sticky.

Step 4: Ask your children to add one cup oil and two teaspoons vinegar. Have them mix the egg mixture together with the eggbeater. Have everyone observe -- now the oil and vinegar have been mixed. When your kids put the oil and vinegar together, the vinegar sank to the bottom of the bowl. When they mixed it, the vinegar broke into tiny drops and the solutions seemed to mix. But after a while the little drops of vinegar combined to form bigger drops. These drops slowly sank to the bottom, and the vinegar and oil separated. When your children mixed in the egg yolk, they got the oil and vinegar to stay mixed. The yolk contains lecithin. The lecithin molecules surround the oil and prevent the oil molecules from coming together, so they stay in solution much longer. Your kids have created mayonnaise. Of course, to make real mayonnaise mustard and salt will need to be added.

Keep reading science projects for kids: chemical reactions to learn how your kids can bend and tie chicken bones into a knot.

For more super science projects for kids, check out:

Your kids can amaze everyone with the knotty bones they'll make.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

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Knotted Bones

Your children can amaze their friends when they show off knotted bones from a chicken or turkey. Wear goggles to avoid getting vinegar in your eyes.

What You'll Need:

  • Goggles
  • Long, thin bone from a cooked chicken or turkey
  • Tall glass
  • Vinegar
  • Plastic wrap

How to Make Knotted Bones:

Step 1: Make sure your kids put on their goggles. Have them place the bone into a tall glass filled with vinegar.

Step 2: Ask your children to cover the glass with plastic wrap so the house won't smell like a pickle factory.

Step 3: Have everyone observe the bone. Leave the bone alone for three days, then have your kids remove it from the vinegar. Make sure they notice how flexible the bone has become. If it is really flexible, proceed to the next step. Otherwise, have your kids pour out the old vinegar and fill the glass with new vinegar. Leave the bone alone for a few more days.

Step 4: Ask your kids to tie the bone into a knot. Tell them to allow the bone to dry. They can then show it to their friends, and see if their friends can explain how it happened. The vinegar (acetic acid) dissolved the calcium in the bone. Calcium makes bones hard and strong. Without the calcium, the bones become rubbery and flexible.

Keep reading science projects for kids: chemical reactions to learn how your children can create their own erupting volcano.

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Your children can construct a real erupting volcano right in their own house.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Erupting Volcano

There's no need for anyone to run for cover from this safe model of a real erupting volcano.

What You'll Need:

  • Tall jar with lid
  • Water
  • Baking soda
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Red or orange food coloring
  • Large plastic container or wash basin
  • Dirt or plaster of Paris and paints
  • Pine cones (optional)
  • Vinegar

How to Create an Erupting Volcano:

Step 1: Have your children find a tall, thin jar -- the kind of jar that pickles or olives come in works well. In the jar, have your kids mix together 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup baking soda, three tablespoons dishwashing liquid, and a few drops of red or orange food coloring.

Step 2: Ask your kids to place the lid on the jar, and set the jar in the center of a big container.

Step 3: Your children should then build a "mountain" of dirt or sand around the jar. (It will work better if the dirt or sand is slightly wet.) If they'd like, they can cover the mountain with plaster of Paris, and paint it to look like a real volcano. They can even decorate it with pine cones to look like trees.

Step 4: Now ... it's lava time! Have your children take the lid off the jar, quickly pour in 1/4 cup of vinegar, and stand back. Everyone can watch the volcano erupt.

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