Inflate a Balloon
Empowerment Activity – Inflate a Balloon
Topic/Theme: Science Careers
Video: Science Careers
- Baking soda
- Dry and empty plastic bottle
After watching the video Science Careers, let your students know they will be conducting a science experiment. Give each student a scientific method hand-out or use one as a guide.
- Add 2 or 3 teaspoons of baking soda to the unfilled balloon.
- Thoroughly rinse and dry the funnel.
- Pour 2 or 3 teaspoons of vinegar into the water bottle using the funnel.
- Attach the balloon to the top of the water bottle, being careful to not let any of the baking soda slip in until you are ready.
- Quickly tip the vinegar so it mixes in with the baking soda.
- Watch as your balloon blows up.
- What’s happening here is the vinegar, an acid, is creating a chemical reaction with the baking soda, a base. When the two substances mix, you get carbonic acid, which is unstable and decomposes (falls apart) to become carbon dioxide (the gas that’s filling the balloon) and water. Since the carbon dioxide is much less dense than the stuff you used to create it, it wants to expand, and the balloon is stretchy enough to allow it to do just that!
- A scientist uses the same method in their work. If you enjoy discoveries and being creative you should consider a science career because your work will impact society and the world.