Dancing Raisins Science Experiment
Get raisins rockin' with this educational experiment.
- Chemist:Your kid
- Lab tech:You
- Baking sodaDon't buy a new box, just use the stuff you have open to deodorize the fridge.
- White vinegar:Hide the balsamic!
- 4 to 6 raisinsRaid a cereal box.
- Measuring spoons:The kind you'd use to bake cookies if you didn't use the brilliant "slice and bake" dough.
- Measuring cup:More of that baking paraphernalia.
- A tall, clear glass:If he uses a mug, he won't see the results of the experiment.
- Have your kid measure out 1 cup of water and pour it into a tall, clear glass.
- Then have him add 1 tablespoon of baking soda.
- Get him to mix it up until the baking soda dissolves in the water.
- Next, have him drop in the raisins. If he steals them from his Raisin Bran® box, make sure he washes them off before using them for the experiment. Don't want to inadvertently add sugar to the mix.
- Finally, have him slowly pour in the magic ingredient—a ½ tablespoon of white vinegar!
- Ta da! The raisins will start shaking their money makers, bobbing up and down in the glass.
- If the raisins don't start hopping around, have your kid add a little more vinegar to the solution.
- So how does this science experiment work? Vinegar is acetic acid and baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. By mixing them together, your kid is creating a chemical reaction between the acid (vinegar) and base (baking soda.) Together, they create carbonic acid which quickly breaks down into carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O.) The CO2 gas is what you see foaming and bubbling. It's that gas that causes the raisins to boogie! It adheres to the raisins, causing them to rise to the surface. When the raisins reach the top of the glass, the CO2 gas evaporates, causing them to fall. The raisin will keep dancing for hours on end until it gets too soggy and heavy to float anymore. (Take that, high school chemistry!)