Title: Elephant Toothpaste - Chemical Reaction Experiment
Objective: To demonstrate an exothermic chemical reaction by creating a foamy eruption known as "elephant toothpaste."
- 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide (6% or higher concentration)
- Dish soap (liquid)
- Dry yeast
- Warm water
- Empty plastic soda bottle (16-ounce or larger)
- Safety goggles
- Tray or large container (to catch the foamy eruption)
- Optional: Food coloring for visual effect
- Set up the experiment in a well-ventilated area and cover the workspace with a tray or large container to catch any overflowing foam.
- Put on safety goggles to protect your eyes.
- Use the funnel to pour 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide into the empty plastic soda bottle.
- Optional: Add a few drops of food coloring to the hydrogen peroxide for a colorful effect.
- Squirt a few tablespoons of liquid dish soap into the bottle with the hydrogen peroxide. Swirl the bottle gently to mix the soap.
- In a separate container, mix 1 tablespoon of dry yeast with 3 tablespoons of warm water. Stir well until the yeast is dissolved.
- Quickly pour the yeast mixture into the bottle containing the hydrogen peroxide and dish soap. Step back and watch the reaction unfold.
- Observe the foamy eruption that results from the chemical reaction. The reaction occurs as the yeast acts as a catalyst, breaking down the hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen gas. The dish soap helps to trap the oxygen gas, creating the foam.
- Discuss the exothermic nature of the reaction, which means it releases heat as a byproduct. Feel the bottle to sense the warmth produced during the experiment.
- Encourage children to make observations and ask questions. Discuss the role of yeast as a catalyst and the concept of a chemical reaction.
- Reflect on the experiment and discuss how variations in the quantities of ingredients or the addition of different substances (e.g., food coloring) might affect the results.
- Adult supervision is required, and safety goggles should be worn throughout the experiment.
- Hydrogen peroxide can cause skin and eye irritation. Handle it with care and avoid contact with the skin or eyes. In case of contact, flush with plenty of water.
- Ensure proper ventilation during the experiment to avoid inhaling the released oxygen gas.
This experiment allows children to witness an exothermic chemical reaction and the resulting foamy eruption. It promotes scientific observation, critical thinking, and an understanding of basic chemistry concepts. Enjoy the exciting and frothy display of your elephant toothpaste experiment.