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STEM At Home: How-To DIY Science In A Bottle!

Three Science Experiments, All The Chemical Reactions - One Bottle! Follow along for simple science experiments you can do right at home with your child!
STEM At Home

Fans of Play, get ready for two explosive experiments your kiddo is going to love. Collect the experiment materials and follow along below to do these experiments right at home! 

Solids, Liquids and Gasses, What a Blast!

Experiment 1 Materials 

  • Tablespoon 
  • 1 medium bottle (reusable) 
  • 1 balloon  
  • Vinegar (1/4 cup) 
  • Baking soda (3 tbsp) 
  • 1 funnel (optional) 
  • Liquid Measuring cup (optional) 

We are going to mix vinegar and baking soda. These are reactants for our first experiment. 

What do you think will happen when we mix these two ingredients?   

Experiment 1

  • Step 1: First, fill the bottle with approximately ¼ cup of vinegar 

Science Behind It: The vinegar is a liquid. A liquid flows freely. The molecules of a liquid move around freely, but still stick together. 

  • Step 2: Then, use the funnel to fill the balloon with approximately 3 tbsp of baking soda 

Science Behind It: The baking soda is a solid.  A solid holds its shape. The molecules in a solid are packed closely together and don’t move around very much. Even though baking soda is a powder, it small solid granules. (like sand.) 

  • Step 3: Cover the neck of the bottle with the opening of the balloon, being careful not to let the baking soda into the bottle.   

Tip: Be ready to make quick observations of what happens, what you see and hear!  

  • Step 4: When you are ready, lift up the balloon so the baking soda enters the bottle.  

              Tip: Make sure to hold the base of the balloon over the neck of the bottle so it does not pop off.   
The Science Behind It: The liquid vinegar when mixed with the solid baking soda, formed a gas (carbon dioxide)! This can be seen in the fizzy reaction in the bottle as well as when the balloon filled up with the gas as the baking soda poured out. A gas fills all of the space it is in. The molecules of a gas are spread far apart and they move around fast and in random ways. 

Experiment 2 Materials:

  • 1 medium bottle (with a narrow opening) 
  • Hydrogen peroxide (3% is common) 
  • Liquid dish soap 
  • Food coloring  
  • Dry yeast 
  • Tablespoon 
  • Portion cup or liquid measuring cup 
  • Funnel (optional) 
  • A baking sheet or tray (or do this outside on a patio or driveway!) 

CAUTIONMess Express! The experiment has the potential to be messier that other experiments, but is so worth it! 

Experiment 2:  

  • Step 1: Conduct this experiment on a tray. (or do this outside on a patio or driveway!) 
  • Step 2Measure 120ml (about 4 oz.) of 3% hydrogen peroxide and pour it into the medium bottle.   
  • Step 3: Add a squirt of dish soap to the bottle and swirl to mix. 
  • Step 4: Add food coloring into the bottle (you can use one color or experiment with multiple colors). 

Tip: Try to add the food coloring along the inside sides if the bottle. 

  • Step 5: In a portion cup, mix 1 tablespoon of dry yeast with 4 tablespoons of warm water and stir. 
  • Step 6: Pour the yeast and water mixture into the bottle, and tada!!   

The Science Behind It:  When the hydrogen peroxide and the yeast mixed, the yeast caused the oxygen molecules in the hydrogen peroxide to be released.  This oxygen being released causes the foam. The chemical reaction is hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) being broken down into water (H2O) and oxygen (O2).  The reaction is also exothermic! (which means heat is given off.) If you were to touch the bottle while the reaction was occurring, it would feel warm/hot.  Pretty Cool Stuff!  Share your results & pictures with us! @portdiscovery #portdiscovey 

Experiment #3 - DIY Lava Lamp 

A simple chemical reaction you can do at home, with far out results! 

Experiment Materials: 

  • Water 
  • Vegetable Oil 
  • A Small Clean Bottle/Jar  
  • Food Coloring 
  • Alka Seltzer 

Experiment: Lava Lamp!

Step 1: Fill the bottle/jar about ½ full of water. 

Step 2: Add the vegetable oil, leaving about an inch gap at the top of the bottle/jar.  

  • What is happing with the water and the vegetable oil?  

Science Behind ItAll liquids have a density. Density describes how close together the molecules are that  make up a liquid. The closer together the molecules the denser the liquid. Water has closer molecules then vegetable oil making it so that the vegetable oil will always sit on top of the water. 

Step 3: Add a few drops of food coloring. 

  • What is happing with the food coloring?  

Science Behind It: The food coloring is slowing making its way through the vegetable oil to mix with the water. This is because food coloring has the same density as water. 

Step 4: Break the Alka Seltzer into small pieces.

Step 5: Add the broken Alka Seltzer pieces to the bottle/jar. 

  • Watch the reaction! 

Science Behind It: When Alka Seltzer hits the water, it creates a chemical reaction. The result is the air bubbles  that you are seeing creating the movement in lava lamp.  

To repeat, add more crushed Alka Seltzer. 

Tip: Do not put on a lid until the bubbles have stopped. If you put on a lid too early the air from the bubbles will be trapped and have nowhere to go. It may eventually build up and could explode! 

Play On! Can you find material substitutions that will cause the same type of reaction 

Here are some of the substitutions we came up with: 

  • No Vegetable Oil – use Baby Oil  
  • No Alka Seltzer – use 2-parts Baking soda to 1-part citric acid 
  • No Water – use Tonic Water 

Be sure to tag us in your creations @portdiscovery!


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