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The Exploding Baggie Experiment

Outdoor $
Chemistry
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Activity Overview

Get a real bang out of this fun Exploding Baggie Science Experiment that will have the kids wanting to perform again and again. This is an outside experiment that should only be performed outside and care should be used to not get to close to the experiment when the reaction is taking place.

When vinegar and baking soda come together, the acid and base react to create carbon dioxide gas. The gas needs room that the baggie cannot offer, so the gas fills the baggie until it reaches its capacity and eventually explodes.

The tissue and paper towel in this experiment create a temporary barrier between the two substances which gives you the time to close the baggie and either toss it or run. This is because the baking soda can’t react with the vinegar until the paper towel has become saturated enough to allow the two substances touch each other.

Materials Needed

  • A small plastic freezer or sandwich bag with a zip closure
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 6 teaspons baking soda
  • 1 tissue or paper towel

How to Do It

  1. Set up your workplace outside.
  2. Put the warm water into the baggie.
  3. Add the vinegar to the bag of water.
  4. Pour the baking soda into the middle of the tissue or paper towel.
  5. Crumble the paper towel into a tight ball with the baking soda securely wrapped in the center.
  6. Zip the freezer baggie up leaving a small space open to give room to put the tissue ball inside.
  7. Quickly, slip the paper ball into the water and vinegar filled baggie, zip it completely closed, toss it on the ground and run back from it quickly. Make sure spectators are a good distance away as well.
  8. The baggie will explode.

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