Science Projects for Kids: Chemical Reactions

Emulsion Experiment

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

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