Science Projects for Kids: Chemical Reactions

Chemical Poppers

Adding vinegar to baking soda in a film canister will create a noisy chemical popper.
Adding vinegar to baking soda in a film canister will create a noisy chemical popper.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

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.

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