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Chemical Magic    Mystery 5

Mystery 5 image

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

Why do some things explode?

Beginning Exploration (1 of 8)
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Beginning Exploration (2 of 8)

DISCUSS:

What makes these things explode? What’s going on?

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Beginning Exploration (3 of 8)
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Beginning Exploration (4 of 8)

DISCUSS:

Why do you think the containers were shattering?

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Beginning Activity Prep
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Beginning Activity: Bag of Bubbles
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Beginning Activity: Bag of Bubbles
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Beginning Activity: Bag of Bubbles
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Beginning Activity: Bag of Bubbles
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Beginning Activity: Bag of Bubbles
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Beginning Activity: Bag of Bubbles
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Beginning Activity: Bag of Bubbles
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Beginning Activity: Bag of Bubbles
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Beginning Activity: Bag of Bubbles
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Beginning Activity: Bag of Bubbles
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Beginning Activity: Bag of Bubbles
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Beginning Activity: Bag of Bubbles
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Beginning Activity: Bag of Bubbles
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Beginning Exploration (5 of 8)
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Beginning Exploration (6 of 8)

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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Beginning Exploration (7 of 8)
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Beginning Activity: Bag of Bubbles
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Beginning Activity: Bag of Bubbles
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Beginning Activity: Bag of Bubbles
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Beginning Activity: Bag of Bubbles
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Beginning Activity: Bag of Bubbles
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Beginning Activity: Bag of Bubbles
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Beginning Activity: Bag of Bubbles
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Beginning Activity: Bag of Bubbles
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Beginning Activity: Bag of Bubbles
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Beginning Activity: Bag of Bubbles
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Beginning Exploration (8 of 8)
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Beginning Complete!

You've completed the Exploration & Activity!

If you have more time, view the assessment, reading and extension activity in the optional extras.

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Optional Extras

Below are ideas for extending this topic beyond the activity & exploration which you just completed.
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Readings

These readings will get students thinking about the gases that surround us, the Earth’s atmosphere. Free with registration on Newsela Elementary, they are in English or Spanish and can be adjusted for reading level. Writing prompts and quizzes are available for each reading.

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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 what’s happens when you do that — 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. bananabread

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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