Tuesday, June 10, 2014

VBS: time for more science!

It's that time of year again: VBS!

And for me, that means more Mad Science.

Our theme for Day 1 was "Eyewitness". Just as John the Baptist was an eyewitness to the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus, our agents can be witnesses, as well.

And to practice those eyewitness skills, we observed several eruptions to see which was bigger.

What you need:
3 small containers such as film canisters or small cups
corn starch
baking powder
baking soda
Tray, pan or other vessel for containing the eruption

What you do:
Put equal amounts of corn starch, baking powder, and baking soda into separate containers. If using empty film canisters, 1 teaspoon will be plenty.  If using coffee cups, try using 2 teaspoons.  Place the containers into a tray or pan with raised edges.

Pour about 2 oz. of vinegar into the cornstarch and observe. Do the same with the baking powder.  Repeat with the baking soda.  Which made the biggest eruption?

Now try this: Bubble Bomb.

For a bigger eruption (but still indoor/kitchen friendly) check out this link to elephant toothpaste.  The experiment as printed calls for 20 volume (6%) hydrogen peroxide, which can be purchased at beauty supply stores.  I tried it in my kitchen using 3% hydrogen peroxide purchased at the dollar store.  That worked fine and I didn't have to worry about sensitive skin getting burned.

Be sure to touch this one!  It's an exothermic reaction, which means that it generates heat!

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