For our March STEM activity – see our others here – we decided to go with chemical reactions. Since we don’t work in a science lab and we have small kids, we went with the classic baking soda and vinegar. We picked up a science kit (aff. link) and saw they had 2 different baking soda experiments so we gathered our supplies and headed to the backyard.
You of course need baking soda and white vinegar. You will also need a volcano if you don’t have a kit. Our other experiment was launching a rocket so you would also need one of those if you want to do both experiments. The kit suggested putting a couple drops of dish soap in the volcano to slow down the reaction and make the lava look cooler.
The kids loved the reaction of the lava and everyone took a turn adding in more vinegar, making it foam and just go crazy. Piglet was especially taken with the reaction. He wanted to do it over and over again. That is until we did the rocket ship and then the volcano was old news.
The rocket ship was pretty cool. You put a little bit of vinegar in a test tube and fill the rocket ship with baking soda. Then you place the rocket ship on the test tube and wait for the baking soda to fall down and build up pressure so the rocket will launch into the air. The first time, we had too much baking soda and it went up crazy high but we got the hang of it and Piglet launched it a few more times all on his own.
Overall, this month’s STEM was a fun one. It was fun to see the kids get excited by normal kitchen supplies making such a fun mess. They have asked to do it a couple dozen times since then and since we always have the supplies on hand, why not?
What about you? Did you make a volcano in elementary school?