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!
What makes these things explode? What’s going on?
Why do you think the containers were shattering?
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.)
You've completed the Exploration & Activity!
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.
Follow these instructions, to fill a balloon with carbon dioxide, the same gas that filled your plastic bag. Try the experiment, and then:
If you have time, experiment to figure out what ratio of baking soda to vinegar produces the most gas (and the biggest balloon).
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.
Here are the ingredients used to make banana bread:
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.)