Science experiments that make a big noise or cause explosions are fun and exciting. Safety is an issue when causing chemical reactions or explosions, so teachers or parents should conduct these experiments with children in well-ventilated, safe areas. Always take safety precautions. While these experiments will not cause a serious explosion, you'll want to avoid harm from chemical exposure or a projectile from the explosion.
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This experiment is done with a bag -- a zip closure freezer bag works best -- baking soda, warm water, vinegar, a measuring cup and a tissue. This experiment should be done outdoors or in a kitchen sink because it could get messy. Take 50 ml (1/4 cup) of warm water and place it in the freezer bag. Add 125 ml (1/2 cup) of vinegar to the bag with the water. Seal the bag part way, but leave room to place a small item in the bag. Next, take 15 ml (1 tbsp) of baking soda and wrap it in the tissue. Make sure the tissue is wrapped tightly around the baking soda. Place the tissue in the bag with the vinegar and water and quickly seal the bag. Quickly place the bag on the ground and move away from it. Once the powder comes into contact with the vinegar and water solution, gas will build up in the bag due to the chemical reaction of the acid and base mixing. This reaction will create carbon dioxide gas that contiues to expand until it pops the bag.
You will need an empty plastic soft drink or water bottle, 125 ml (1/2 cup) of vinegar, a balloon, baking soda and a funnel for this experiment. Use the funnel to fill the balloon halfway up with baking soda, then clean the funnel and use it to pour vinegar into the empty plastic bottle. Once that is finished, place the end of the balloon over the bottle and pour the baking soda into the vinegar. The chemical reaction will cause a build-up of carbon dioxide gas that will expand to fill the balloon. If there is too much gas, the balloon will fly off the top of the bottle, into the air, or the balloon will pop. You can vary the amounts of vinegar and baking soda you use, to get different effects on the balloon.
Film canister rocket
Do this experiment outside and wear safety glasses. Fill a 35mm film canister with 5 ml (1 tsp) of water. Add a fizzing antacid tablet to the canister and place the cap on tightly. Place the canister on the ground, cap-side down. Wait about 10 seconds. There should be a pop sound, and the canister will shoot high into the air. If nothing happens, wait at least 30 seconds before approaching the canister. The carbon dioxide that builds up in the canister causes the pop and propels the canister like a rocket.
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