Social Distance Learning Project: Baking Soda Balloon

Rest assured this is a no-fail experiment. As soon as the chemical reaction begins, the balloon will start to inflate. The more vinegar and baking soda you use, the bigger your balloon will get!
An empty plastic water or soda bottle, a balloon, a funnel, baking soda, and vinegar.
1. Stretch the opening of the balloon over the end of the funnel. Pour about 1/3 cup of baking soda into the funnel and gently swish it around a bit until it all falls through the funnel and into the balloon. Make sure you hang onto the balloon opening so it doesn’t fall off the funnel.
2. Rinse all the baking soda off the funnel (or you’ll get fizzing), and then use the funnel to pour about 1 cup of vinegar into a soda or water bottle. If you are using a soda bottle, pour enough vinegar so that it’s about 1/3 full; if you are using a smaller water bottle, pour enough so that it’s about half full.
3. Gently stretch the opening of the balloon over the opening of the bottle. Make sure the balloon is draping down at the side to keep the baking soda from falling in.
4. Now lift the balloon so that it is completely upright allowing all of the baking soda to fall into the vinegar. (Although the balloon might seem to be pretty snug on the bottle opening, it is still recommended that you pinch it the whole time. The last thing you want is for it to pop off!)
5. Watch the magic happen right before your eyes!
So how does it work? Vinegar and baking soda, when mixed together, make an acid-base reaction. The reaction creates carbon dioxide gas that bubbles up from the mixture. The gas expands up and out of the bottle and causes the balloon to inflate.
Carbon dioxide is heavier than air, so when you drop the balloon, you’ll notice that it falls to the ground faster than a regular balloon filled with air!
Sponsored by National Grid.

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