If you are trying to get your kids interested in science, or they have a science fair coming up and need something to wow the crowd, consider helping them put together a chemistry experiment that involves an explosion. They might be hooked on science for good!
One classic explosion experiment is the do-it-yourself volcano. For this experiment, you will need about a pound of clay, a small canister or empty pill bottle, vinegar, food colouring and liquid dish soap. Make your clay into the shape of a volcano, leaving room in the centre hole for your canister or pill bottle. Add 2 teaspoons of baking soda, 5 drops of red food colouring, and a teaspoon of liquid dish soap to the container. Finally, add an ounce of vinegar. The volcano will erupt almost immediately.
Diet Soda and Mints
Another fun explosion experiment requires diet soda and mints (preferably Mentos, or a generic equivalent). For the best results, use a 2- or 3-liter bottle of diet soda and a full package of mints. Open the bottle of soda, add the entire package of mints, and stand back as the soda erupts in a geyser that may reach as high as 18 feet.
Exploding Lunch Bag
If you want to make lunch a bit more interesting, why not make an exploding lunch bag? For this experiment, you will need a sealable plastic lunch bag, baking soda, warm water, vinegar and a tissue. Put a quarter-cup of warm water and half a cup of vinegar into the bag, and then wrap 3 teaspoons of baking soda in the tissue. Drop the tissue into the bag and seal it tightly. After a few seconds, the bag will start to expand until it explodes.
Tea Bag Rocket
You can easily make a small rocket out of a tea bag. Cut off the top of the tea bag and pour the tea leaves onto a plate. Unfold the empty tea bag and shape it into a hollow, open cylinder that can stand upright. Place the tea bag upright atop the pile of tea leaves, and light the top of the bag with a match. Once the flame burns down close to the bottom, convection currents will cause the tea bag to fly into the air on its own.
Always take the proper safety precautions before doing any kind of science experiment. Avoid using harmful chemicals, and wear safety goggles and gloves as a precaution for any experiment. Do not allow children to conduct experiments without supervision.