Los Gatos High School
Changing States of Matter
In the last experiment, the water changed it's form between a liquid, a solid and a gas, depending on the temperature. Sometimes two or more substances combine in a chemical reaction to make new and different substances, and this can change their state of matter too. Can you think how you might use a chemical reaction to blow up a balloon without using your mouth or a pump? What would the reaction have to make to inflate the balloon?
Here's one way to do it:
You will need:
- 1 empty bottle
- 1/3 cup of vinegar (any kind)
- 2 teaspoons of baking soda (not baking powder)
- 1 balloon, or a rubber glove and a rubber band
- a funnel or rolled up piece of paper
Pour the vinegar into the bottle.
Use the funnel or paper to put the baking soda into the balloon or glove.
This is the tricky bit because you want to keep the baking soda out of the bottle until you are ready. Twist the balloon or glove and keep the part with the baking soda down. Attach it to the top of the bottle. If you are using the glove, add the rubber band.
Consider taking the set up outside or over a sink, just in case things aren't on as tightly as needed.
Hold the balloon or glove up, untwist it, and let the baking soda fall into the bottle. What do you see happen? Did the glove or balloon inflate? Why?
Here is what happened when I did it: