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  • Writer's pictureKrystyna

Discovery Labs: DANCING RAISINS

Objective: Understand the chemical reaction between baking soda and vinegar and observe the physical effect on raisins.

What do you think will happen if you put raisins in a glass of water?

WHAT YOU NEED:

  •   A pint glass

  •   Warm water

  •   Raisins 

  •   Baking Soda

  •   White Vinegar


INSTRUCTIONS:

  •  Fill the glass half full with warm water.

  •  Add two heaped teaspoons of baking soda.

  •  Add a few raisins

  •  Put the glass in a tray – it might overflow

  •  Top off with white vinegar

  •  You should see the raisins begin to rise and fall


OBSERVATION:

Watch the raisins as the vinegar is added. You should see the raisins begin to rise and fall in the glass.


EXPLANATION: Why Do the Raisins Dance?

When baking soda (a base) reacts with vinegar (an acid), it forms carbon dioxide gas bubbles. The carbon dioxide bubbles attach to the surface of the raisins, causing them to float to the top of the water. When the bubbles reach the surface, they pop, and the raisins sink back down. This process repeats, making the raisins appear to "dance" in the water. The cycle continues until the reaction between the baking soda and vinegar stops.


CONCLUSION:

This experiment demonstrates a chemical reaction and the physical effects of gas bubbles on objects in a liquid. It's a fun way to visualize how gases can cause movement in liquids and can be linked to real-world examples like carbonated beverages.


EXTENSION:

  • Try different types of dried fruits or vary the amount of baking soda and vinegar to see how the reaction changes.

  • Discuss other examples of gas formation and buoyancy in everyday life.




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