Why do some things explode?
Why do some things explode?
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DISCUSS:

What makes these things explode? Whatâ€™s going on?

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DISCUSS:

Why do you think the containers were shattering?

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DISCUSS:

On the back of your worksheet, draw a picture using a particle model to explain why the bag exploded. (Or you can label or add to the picture you drew earlier.)

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# Extensions

##### Below are ideas for extending this topic beyond the activity & exploration which you just completed.
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These readings will get students thinking about the gases that are all around us.

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# Activity: Inflate a balloon

Follow these instructions, to fill a balloon with carbon dioxide, the same gas that filled your plastic bag. Try the experiment, and then:

• Draw a picture that shows what makes the balloon inflate.
• Predict what will happen if you pinch the neck of the inflated balloon, take it off the bottle, then let it go. Draw a picture that shows whatâ€™s happens when you do that â€” and why it happens.

If you have time, experiment to figure out what ratio of baking soda to vinegar produces the most gas (and the biggest balloon).

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# Discussion: Bread bubbles (part 1)

Look at the holes in this slice of banana bread. Each hole was made by a bubble that formed while the bread was baking. Those bubbles made the bread rise.

Go to the next slide to discuss where those bubbles came from.

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# Discussion: Bread bubbles (part 2)

Here are the ingredients used to make banana bread:

• vinegar
• milk
• butter
• sugar
• bananas
• flour
• baking soda
• walnuts
• eggs
• Discuss:

• Why do you think bubbles formed in the batter?
• What do you think would happen if you left out the vinegar?

See previous slide for a view of the holes in banana bread. See next slide for more about the bubbles in bread.

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# Discussion: Bread bubbles (part 3)

Any bread or cake that rises as it bakes has bubbles in the batter. Take a look at some bread recipes. Can you figure out which ingredients make bubbles in each recipe?

If you need help, check out this extensive discussion of leavening agents. (A leavening agent is a substance that produces gas to make bubbles in a batter.)

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 Exploration 11 min Hands-On Activity 30 min Wrap-Up 4 min
Print Prep
Activity Prep

In this Mystery, students investigate and model how gases cause explosions. In the activity, Bag of Bubbles, students experiment by combining baking soda and vinegar inside a sealed bag and observe how the gas bubbles produced cause the bag to inflateâ€“and sometimes pop!

Number of students:
 Capturing Chaos worksheet 1 per student Stretchy Bag Templates worksheet 1 per group 1 roll per class 1 pair per student 4 tablespoons per pair 1 cup per student 1 cup per class You can also use large, sturdy paper plates. Details 1 plate per pair 2 spoons per pair You can use any plastic container that can hold about 1/2 cup of liquid. Details 2 cups per group 1 cup per 8 students We do not suggest using sandwich size bags because they need more vinegar and baking soda to inflate, and the resulting explosion is likely to overflow the plastic plate. Details 1 bag per student 1 pair per student

We strongly recommend that students wear eye protection for this activity.

We suggest students work in pairs for the first activity, and in groups of four for the second activity. Students working alone will need a partner for the first activity, and a few friends to help with the second activity.

# Prepare the Vinegar and Baking Soda

Divide your plastic cups (or plastic containers) in half. For each of the cups in one of the piles, pour about Â˝ cup of vinegar. For the other cups, pour about Â˝ cup of baking soda into each.

# Separate Supplies for Easy Distribution

For the first activity, students will need the following supplies, plus a recommended pair of safety goggles for each person:

In the second activity, students will work in groups of four and will need the following materials:

You may want to separate these for ease of classroom distribution.

Extensions