Today, we are going to create a fun and foamy reaction that looks like a tube of toothpaste big enough for an elephant! You've created other reactions in the past, such as when we exploded a plastic bag or created film canister rockets. The most similar reaction to the one we are creating today is when we blew up a balloon with yeast. Yeast is going to be part of our reaction today.
Learn more about chemical reactions here: http://www.chem4kids.com/files/react_intro.html
There are more than one type of chemical reaction. An exothermic reaction releases heat or light. An example of this is wood burning in a fire. The wood burning releases heat and light. This is the opposite of an endothermic reaction. While an exothermic reaction releases energy, an endothermic reaction absorbs it. Today, you are going to be creating an exothermic reaction.
In order to create Elephant Toothpaste, you will use a catalyst to get the reaction going. A catalyst increases the rate of a chemical reaction.
Vocab to remember:
Check out this amped-up version of Elephant's Toothpaste on Jimmy Kimmel.
YOU WILL NEED:
- Pan or tray
- Empty 16 oz plastic bottle
- 20-volume hydrogen peroxide (6% solution) : This can be purchased from a beauty supply store
- One packet (one tablespoon) of dry yeast
- Liquid dish washing soap (like Dawn)
- Small cup
- Safety goggles
- Food coloring (optional)
Here's what to do!
- PUT YOUR SAFETY GOGGLES ON! Hydrogen peroxide can irritate your eyes, so let’s be careful! Ask an adult for help when you handle the hydrogen peroxide.
- Place your empty 16 oz bottle in the middle of your tray or pan.
- Carefully pour 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide into the plastic bottle.
- If you want your “toothpaste” to be colored, add a few drops of food coloring into the plastic bottle.
- Measure out one tablespoon of liquid dish washing soap and dump it into the plastic bottle. Swish the bottle around to mix the soap in with the hydrogen peroxide. Set the bottle aside.
- Pour 3 tablespoons of warm water into the small cup.
- Add 1 tablespoon of yeast into the warm water and mix it in for about 30 seconds.
- Here’s the fun part! Pour the yeast liquid into the plastic bottle and stand back!
- FOAM FOUNTAIN MANIA! Feel the bottle. It should be warm. Remember, this is an exothermic reaction, so it produces heat. After the initial foam shoots out of the bottle, it will continue to ooze out like toothpaste for a while.
- After the foam subsides, try it out again. This time, decide how you can make this activity an experiment. Choose a variable: You could alter the amount of yeast, the amount of hydrogen peroxide, or even the temperature of the water. Remember to only alter one variable at a time and make sure to record your observations!