Read Microsoft Word - Lesson Plan 4 - Fizzy bubbly science.doc text version

Fizzy bubbly science

Brief description

Students observe the chemical reaction between vinegar (an acid) and sodium bicarbonate (a base). In small groups, they observe how bubbles of carbon dioxide gas produced by this reaction cause popcorn kernels to float and sink in water. They blow soap bubbles, which float on an invisible layer of carbon dioxide inside a soft drink bottle. As an optional extension activity, they can make fizzy edible sherbet. Duration: Year Level: Topics: Preparation: Extensions: 60 ­ 80 minutes Lower to upper primary Chemical reactions, Acids and Bases, Liquids & Gases, Floating & sinking, Buoyancy, Density 15 minutes SCIENCE ­ Make sherbet (included in student worksheet) SCIENCE ­ Research carbon dioxide (eg composition of the Earth's atmosphere, sources of CO2, pollution, greenhouse effect) ART/SCIENCE ­ Construct an erupting model volcano with play-dough or paper mache


Whole class Teacher demonstration Discuss procedure and safety instructions Designate group work jobs Activity 1 ­ Make and investigate pop-corn lava lamp Activity 2 ­ Floating bubbles Discuss activities Plan next science lesson (5 ­ 10 min)

Small groups Whole class

(30 ­ 45 min) (5 ­ 10 min)

Materials and equipment

NOTE: Two 500g packets of Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda) and one 2 litre bottle of vinegar should be sufficient for all the activities and teacher demonstration combined.

Teacher Demonstration

Total Qty 1 1 1 3 ½ Description 390 or 600 ml soft drink bottle Balloon Funnel * Tbsp sodium bicarbonate Cup vinegar

* cut the top off a soft drink bottle to make a funnel if necessary Lesson 4 ­ Fizzy Bubbly Science

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© Ruben Meerman 2004

Materials and Equipment continued ...

Total Qty 30 18 6 6 6 6 1 packet 2 × 500 g 2 litre student worksheets


(1 per student) (1 per group)


3 pages ­ download separately and photocopy

Clear plastic cups and/or glasses 1 litre soft drink bottles (tops cut off) Small bubble blowers and solution Tablespoons Teaspoons Un-cooked pop corn Sodium bicarbonate Vinegar Water Sherbet ingredients and materials


(1 per group) (1 per group) (1 per group) (1 per group) (1 tbsp / group) ( ¾ cup / group) (1 cup / group) (1 cup / group)

75g 2 packets 1 packet 6 1­6 30

1 2

Citric Acid 3 Flavoured jelly crystals 4 Pure icing sugar Small plastic bowls or plates Sieve(s) Small plastic bags or similar to store sherbet

cut tops off with a utility knife prior to the lesson students may be able to bring this item from home or you can make them easily ­ alternatively, `wedding bubbles' are readily available from most supermarkets including solution and blower available in baking section at supermarkets note: jelly crystals are not suitable for vegetarians

3 4


Materials for teacher to collect:

Sufficient quantities of plastic cups, bubble mix and blowers, popping corn, vinegar and sodium bicarbonate (bi-carb soda), spoons Download and photocopy 30 student worksheets Making sherbet: citric acid, flavoured jelly crystals, icing sugar, bowls, sieve(s)

Materials for students to collect:

Empty 1 litre soft-drink bottles (minimum of 6 required for lesson) If available at home ­ small bubble blower and solution

Lesson 4 ­ Fizzy Bubbly Science

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© Ruben Meerman 2004


You should check the outcomes statement for the year level of your class before deciding which of the following objectives are appropriate. Accurately describing and explaining the observations in these activities requires the synthesis of several scientific concepts. This may take different amounts of time for individual students. Asking questions about each concept in isolation may help students arrive at the correct explanation for their observations.

Students' prior knowledge

Students are familiar with their group work job responsibilities. No prior knowledge of scientific concepts is assumed for this lesson.

Positive attitudes

Students will: work cooperatively in small groups ensure each member has an opportunity to see and understand the activities handle equipment and materials carefully and responsibly use water sparingly and dispose of waste responsibly (eg pour onto school garden beds, not into sinks)

Science skills

Popcorn Lava Lamp Activity

Students will: follow the instructions accurately measure the required amounts of sodium bicarbonate and vinegar observe the formation of carbon dioxide bubbles in the solution observe that these bubbles adhere to the popcorn pieces observe that the popcorn pieces float when covered with bubbles observe that the bubbles pop when the popcorn reaches the surface, causing the pop corn to rotate observe that the popcorn sinks after the bubbles have popped describe their observations in writing and with illustrations

Catch-A-Bubble Activity

Students will: follow the instructions accurately measure the required amounts of sodium bicarbonate and vinegar carefully blow bubbles and gently move the bottle to catch them observe that the bubbles float on the invisible layer of carbon dioxide infer that carbon dioxide is a heavier (more dense) gas than air

Lesson 4 ­ Fizzy Bubbly Science

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© Ruben Meerman 2004

Objectives continued ...

Science concepts

vinegar is a type of acid sodium bicarbonate is a type of base acids and bases undergo a chemical reaction when mixed together one of the products of the vinegar and sodium bicarbonate reaction is a gas called carbon dioxide carbon dioxide gas is less dense than water (it floats in water) popcorn kernels are more dense than water (they sink in water) air is less dense than carbon dioxide gas ­ air floats on carbon dioxide / carbon dioxide sinks in air


Introduction (Whole class / 5 ­ 10 min)

Perform the teacher demonstration (see teacher notes on page 5) Discuss the activities and give instructions for how you expect students to collect materials from the science store

to prevent spills, you may wish to distribute the vinegar and sodium bicarbonate to each work station once the groups have collected all the other materials and are ready to begin

Allocate group work jobs and badges

Hands-on activities (Small groups / 30 ­ 45 min)

Small group activities

All group members cooperate to prepare a work station All group members read the worksheet instructions Equipment Managers collect materials required from Science Store


Group Communication Officer asks teacher to deliver vinegar and sodium bicarbonate to work station (if not collected by Equipment Managers) Group Supervisors ensure group adheres to instructions and completes activities Records Officers keep careful notes of results where necessary Equipment Managers clean and return equipment to the Science Store Remainder of group cleans Work Station and returns desks to normal locations

Early finishers

These activities are fun and visually stimulating so early finishers are likely to enjoy extra time to repeat the activities

Lesson 4 ­ Fizzy Bubbly Science

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© Ruben Meerman 2004

Conclusion (Whole class / 10 ­ 15 min)

Class discussion

Conduct a discussion about the activities

Plan next science lesson

Ask students to collect and bring in any household items you might require for the next lesson you have planned

Teacher notes

Teacher demonstration

This demonstration will engage and motivate students. It provides clear visual evidence that gas is produced when vinegar and sodium bicarbonate react. Because students enjoy watching experiments, you can perform the entire set up (i.e. filling the balloon and bottle) as part of the demonstration. 1. Pour ½ a cup of vinegar into the empty soft-drink bottle using a funnel 2. Pour 1½ tablespoons of sodium bicarbonate into the uninflated balloon 3. Carefully stretch the mouth of the balloon over the mouth of the bottle making sure the sodium bicarbonate stays in the balloon 4. Lift and shake the balloon so that all the sodium bicarbonate pours into the bottle and let go of the balloon ­ the balloon will quickly inflate with carbon dioxide gas produced by the reaction

Before ingredients are mixed

After ingredients are mixed

Description of the chemical reaction

When an acid and a base react, they typically form a "salt" and water. In this reaction, vinegar is the acid (acetic acid) and sodium bicarbonate is the base. The products of the reaction are sodium acetate (the "salt"), water and carbonic dioxide. In chemical notation, the reaction is stated as: HC2H3O2

Acetic Acid Lesson 4 ­ Fizzy Bubbly Science

+ +


Sodium Bicarbonate


Sodium Acetate

+ +



+ +


Carbon Dioxide Page 5

© Ruben Meerman 2004

Description of the popcorn motion

Popcorn kernels are only slightly more dense than water. The combination of a corn kernel and gas bubbles is less dense than water and therefore buoyant. When the reaction begins producing carbon dioxide bubbles, the kernels start to float. Once the corn reaches the surface, the bubbles at the top of the kernel burst. The bubbles attached to the bottom of the kernel now cause it to rotate. Once these remaining bubbles have burst, the kernel sinks again and the process is repeated. The diagram below illustrates the motion of a corn kernel.

3. Bubbles on top of kernel pop

4. Kernel spins, remaining bubbles pop

` 2. Bubbles make the kernel


5. After bubbles have popped, kernel sinks

1. Bubbles form on kernel

6. Process starts again

Motion of a popcorn kernel

Catch-A-Bubble: why do the bubbles grow as they sink?

You may notice that the bubbles in this activity grow as they slowly sink further into the layer of carbon dioxide. This happens because the concentration of carbon dioxide is much greater outside than inside the bubble. Carbon dioxide is readily soluble in water and easily passes through the bubble solution (which is mainly water) and into the bubble. Air (mainly nitrogen and oxygen) however, is not as readily soluble in water. The bubble expands and becomes heavier as carbon dioxide enters, causing it to sink slowly further down into the bottle.

Bubble floating on carbon dioxide in a coffee plunger glass

Lesson 4 ­ Fizzy Bubbly Science

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© Ruben Meerman 2004

Solutions to common problems

Popcorn Lava Lamp

Bubbles are forming but popcorn isn't moving: Wait a little longer. If the popcorn still isn't moving after about two minutes, add more sodium bicarbonate and/or vinegar.


Bubbles aren't floating: Possibly because the bottle is being moved too quickly or students are breathing directly into it, either of which may expel the carbon dioxide. Add more vinegar and/or sodium bicarbonate being careful not to breath into the bottle. Move the bottle gently.

Sherbet extension activity

The fizzing sensation experienced when eating sherbet is a result of the chemical reaction between the citric acid and sodium bicarbonate. This reaction also produces small bubbles of carbon dioxide but only when the dry ingredients are wet by saliva in the mouth. NOTE: the recipe provided contains jelly crystals, which are not suitable for vegetarians ­ exclude the jelly crystals if required

Carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere

The Earth's atmosphere consists mainly of nitrogen (78%) and oxygen (21%), and a small amount of trace gases. The amount of carbon dioxide varies slightly due to human activities and natural causes but forms roughly 0.036% of the atmosphere. The trace gases include: argon (0.93%) neon (0.0018%) helium (0.0005%) hydrogen (0.00005%)

Oxygen (21%)

Trace gases including carbon dioxide (1%)

Nitrogen (78%)

Composition of Earth's Atmosphere

Source: Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Heritage

Lesson 4 ­ Fizzy Bubbly Science

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© Ruben Meerman 2004


Fizzy bubbly science

Name ______________________________________ Materials required per group:

1 plastic cup filled with water 1 measuring spoon 1 tablespoon of popcorn ½ cup of vinegar (in a plastic cup) 1 empty soft-drink bottle (top removed) 1 bubble blower and solution 8 tablespoons of baking soda (in a plastic cup)

Activity 1: Popcorn Lava Lamp


In this activity, you will mix baking soda and vinegar in water. Amazing things will happen when the bubbles of carbon dioxide begin to form. Watch the popcorn carefully and try to explain your observations in the space provided.


1. Add one tablespoon of baking soda to the water and stir thoroughly. Wait till the mixture goes clear. 2. Add six or eight pieces of popcorn. 3. Add three tablespoons of vinegar to the water and watch carefully ­ it might take up to a minute or two before things begin to happen.

If nothing happens after two minutes, ask the teacher for assistance.

Record your observations

1. Describe what is happening to the popcorn kernels in your cup. Think about the following questions to help with your explanation: Do popcorn kernels usually float? Why? What happens to the bubbles when they reach the surface? What do the popcorn kernels do at the surface? Why?

Fizzy bubble science ­ Student Worksheet

ABC Science Online ( )

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© Ruben Meerman 2004

Fizzy bubbly science

Activity 2: Catch-A-Bubble


In this activity, you will mix baking soda and vinegar in the bottom of a soft-drink bottle to make lots of carbon dioxide gas. You will be amazed what happens when you catch a bubble with your bottle of carbon dioxide! Work cooperatively and carefully and make sure everyone gets a turn.


Try not to breath directly towards or into the bottle during this activity. Moving air can blow the carbon dioxide out of your bottle and the activity won't work. Move the bottle slowly and gently when trying to catch a bubble. 1. One person should blow the bubbles. Another person moves the bottle. After each turn, two new people have a turn. 2. Add one tablespoon of baking soda to your bottle. 3. Add three tablespoons of vinegar and wait for the fizzing to stop. 4. Carefully blow some bubbles up into the air so that they will land near the bottle. This might take a bit of practice. Try not to breath too heavily toward the bubbles so they don't get blown away! 5. Gently slide the bottle across the table to catch one of the bubbles. Watch what happens as a bubble falls into the bottle.

Blow bubbles up into the air.

Gently slide the bottle to catch a bubble

Describe your observations

1. What happens when a bubble falls into the bottle?

_____________________________________________ _____________________________________________ _____________________________________________ _____________________________________________

2. Based on your observations, do you think that carbon dioxide is lighter or heavier than air?


Fizzy bubble science ­ Student Worksheet

ABC Science Online ( )

Page 2

© Ruben Meerman 2004

Fizzy bubbly science

Sherbet recipe

Vinegar is a type of chemical called an acid. Sodium bicarbonate is a type of base. When acids and bases are mixed, a chemical reaction usually follows. The fizzy sensation you get from sherbet is also caused by a reaction between an acid and a base. In this case, the acid is citric acid, which is a dry white powder. The base is sodium bicarbonate, which is also dry. In sherbet, the chemical reaction doesn't begin until the dry ingredients become wet. As soon as they dissolve into the saliva in your mouth, the reaction begins. Below is a simple sherbet recipe to try:

Ingredients (for 2 to 3 people): 1 tablespoon ¼ teaspoon ¼ teaspoon 1 teaspoon Instructions:

Make sure all your utensils, bowl and sieve are completely dry. Sieve the ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly. Keep the sherbet dry so that the reaction doesn't begin before you eat it.

Icing Sugar Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda) Citric Acid Flavoured jelly crystals

Word Finder

Carbon Dioxide Popcorn Air Bubbles L R C H E M I C A L F O V E C I D E N G I Y O B I H L M A B Vinegar Baking Soda Gas Floating A Q O C A T I N U M R T R E A S Y Y P S O L W U N E B B L K H E R U I N R O C P O P U A I R G J W A T E R W N F N B C N E T V D B Q R B D Z S E B H G A N R A G E N I V E I X L G S Sinking Chemical Water Science C I S K F L O A T I N G E U O T D E C N X B N P M K S S Y D I E U D I U Q I L A I T I R A O J D D F E T K I H N U V T Z N L E P W O N N M P G J Y L C Density Liquid Observation Reaction R Q U E B N A C I N J K X B A E N O I T A V R E S B O M E F

Fizzy bubble science ­ Student Worksheet

ABC Science Online ( )

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© Ruben Meerman 2004


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