Name of Activity Chemical Reactions
Author Amanda Rock and Daniella DiPaola
Keywords chemical reactions, chemistry, chemical engineering, baking soda, vinegar, observations, experiment, recording data
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 4, 5, 6
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students perform an experiment mixing together unidentified materials to find which ones create a chemical reaction.
Lesson Objectives: Introduction to Chemical Engineering and chemical reactions. Teach students about the importance of making good observations and recording data.
Materials Needed: -Small measuring cups:
-baking soda
-flour, cornstarch, other white solid materials
-water, tea, other liquids
-eye droppers
Preparation and Set Up: Make a worksheet with a table for the students to fill out for each combination of solid and liquid.
We pre-measured the materials into the small cups to save time but the students could do it if you have enough time. We finished the class in less than an hour when we measured them out. We used 1 Tsp of material in each cup.
Procedure 1. Number the bottom of the cups (same number for same material) so the students can tell them apart for their data because you do not tell them what the materials are, they guess at the end. 2. Measure out 1 Tsp of each material into the cups, unless you want the students to do their own measuring, then you can just give them each a larger cup with the material in it. 3. Introduce the students to Chemical Engineering, experiments, safe lab practices (no tasting), what makes a good observation, how to record accurate data. 4. Explain to the students that they want to combine each solid with each liquid only once per combination. They should make their observations of the materials before and after they combine them. Make sure they record the numbers on the bottom of each cup. 5. Pass out worksheets with blank table and materials. If you are letting the students make the measurements explain to them that there is measurements on the cups and they can use the spoon for the solid materials and the eyedropper for the liquids. 6. Let students  combine materials and fill out the table. 7. Do a wrap up about what they observed and what they think the materials were. 8. We did a demonstration of combining a lot of baking soda and vinegar so the kids could see a big reaction.  I suggest doing this over a bucket so the reaction can flow out of the cup that the baking soda is in when you pour the vinegar in.
Extensions: Do a demonstration at the end with a lot of baking soda and vinegar.
If you have the chance to go outside you could do a diet coke and mentos demonstration.
Or show youtube videos of diet coke and mentos.
Modifications: Measure out the materials ahead of time or let the students measure them out depending on how much time you have during class.
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Introduction to Engineering
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