Aspiring chemists will love this “chemistry in a bag” experience! The perfect keep-em-busy afternoon activity. And chances are you already have everything you need — so no run to the store for some sort of obscure ingredient.

We do suggest performing this experiment outside. It can get messy (which is half the fun!).

Many thanks to Lindsay Jones, Director of Stevenson University’s Science Camp, for showing us chemistry with a bang!

Science Fun with Stevenson: Exploding Baggies! - (cool) progeny

EXPLODING BAGS: SCIENCE FUN FOR KIDS

Materials

  • Quart Size Plastic Bags
  • Clothespins or Other Clips
  • Food Coloring
  • 1/3 Cup Vinegar (per bag)
  • 2 Tbsp. Baking Soda (per bag)

Instructions

Pour vinegar into baggie and add food coloring.Science Fun with Stevenson: Exploding Baggies! - (cool) progeny

Science Fun with Stevenson: Exploding Baggies! - (cool) progeny

Twist the baggie just above the vinegar and secure it with a clothespin or clip. Add the baking soda to the empty space in the bag. Seal the bag.

Science Fun with Stevenson: Exploding Baggies! - (cool) progenyScience Fun with Stevenson: Exploding Baggies! - (cool) progeny

Take the bag outside and remove the clothespin, allowing the baking soda and vinegar to mix. Watch as the bag fills with gas and explodes in a fizzy mess!

Science Fun with Stevenson: Exploding Baggies! - (cool) progeny Science Fun with Stevenson: Exploding Baggies! - (cool) progeny

Why does this happen? The chemical reaction between the vinegar and baking soda releases carbon dioxide that fills the bag up, causing it to explode.

ABOUT OUR SPONSOR

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This article is sponsored by Stevenson University’s Science Camp! Students attending Science Camp at Stevenson University engage in exciting laboratory-based, hands-on activities designed to instill and enhance interest in science. Topics range from robotics to real-world chemistry and biology. All activities are taught by Stevenson University faculty. LEARN MORE/REGISTER

 

Photos by Laura Black.