It’s great to be back with you all after a few months break. I have been lucky enough to have taken a wonderful and exciting trip to Madagascar. It is a fascinating island located about 250 miles (400 kilometres) off of the coast of southern Africa in the Indian Ocean. Along with my ExplorerLAB™ I spent a couple of wonderful months in the sunshine and enjoyed the delights of the island, including meeting few of the local inhabitants, who you can see in the photo!
Well, enough of my travel exploits! What I would really like to share with you is an experiment that delighted some of the children that I met whilst travelling.
You will need adult supervision for this experiment.
Fun Foamy Fountain
A clean 16 ounce plastic fizzy drinks bottle
1/2 cup 20-volume hydrogen peroxide liquid (20-volume is a 6% solution, ask an adult to get this from a chemist store or hair salon suppliers)
1 Tablespoon (one packet) of dry yeast
3 Tablespoons of warm water
Washing up liquid
NOTE: As you can see from the picture, foam will overflow from the bottle, so be sure to do this experiment on a washable surface, or place the bottle on a tray.
1. Hydrogen peroxide can irritate skin and eyes, so put on those safety goggles and ask an adult to carefully pour the hydrogen peroxide into the bottle.
2. Add 8 drops of your favourite food colouring into the bottle.
3. Add about 1 tablespoon of washing up liquid into the bottle and swish the bottle around a bit to mix it.
4. In a separate small cup, combine the warm water and the yeast together and mix for about 30 seconds.
5. Now the fun begins! Pour the yeast water mixture into the bottle (a funnel helps here) and watch the foaminess begin!
The foam made is special because each tiny foam bubble is filled with oxygen. The yeast acted as a catalyst (a helper) to remove the oxygen from the hydrogen peroxide. Since it did this very fast, it created lots and lots of bubbles. Did you notice the bottle got warm? Your experiment created a reaction called an Exothermic Reaction – that means it not only created foam, it created heat! The foam produced is just water, soap, and oxygen so you can clean it up with a sponge and pour any extra liquid left in the bottle down the drain. DO NOT INGEST THE FOAM AT ANY TIME.
If you wish to make this a true experiment, you can try to answer these questions:
1. Does the amount of yeast change the amount of foam produced?
2. Does the experiment work as well if you add the dry yeast without mixing it with water?
3. Does the size of the bottle affect the amount of foam produced?
This is a great experiment to do at school or at home with an adult. Let me know how it works for you!
If you are interested in learning more about the LapSafe® ExplorerLAB™ mobile laboratory, then please visit http://www.lapsafe.com/products/mobile-charging/explorerlab or call 0845 230 1010 for more information.