Monday, July 18, 2016

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Chemistry for Kids: Catching a Gas & States of Matter Science Experiment

This is another awesome chemistry for kids science experiment that turns into a snack and works wonderfully for preschoolers and older kids! It's a great hands-on science project.

Preschoolers and kindergarten kiddos can confidently learn about the three most common states of matter (solids, liquids, and gasses) during every day conversation and fun science experiments like this one!

Before I began this chemistry activity I talked about solids, liquids, and gasses, and how I asked the kids what happens when you add energy to each state. (If you add energy to a solid, it turns to a liquid. If you add energy to a liquid, it changes to a gas.) We talked about heat, and how easy it is to add heat to a solid, liquid, or gas.

Then we pulled out the frozen (solid) carbon dioxide (dry ice). We added heat to it by placing it on the table in a warm room. We talked about how carbon dioxide is unusual because it will skip the liquid state and go straight to a gas. We watched the gas rise, swirl, and dissolve in the air. Then I asked them this question:

"Can we catch the gas that is escaping into the air?"

My favorite response was from my grade-school aged daughter: Well, the obvious answer is no, but if you're asking that question, it is probably a trick question, so I'll say yes!

So, yes, we can.

We poured a pitcher full of juice, and then everyone took turns placing dry ice into the pitcher. 

 Safety note: Be very careful with dry ice. Do not touch it directly. We used tongs to place the dry ice into the pitcher of juice.  

It was very easy to see the gas form of carbon dioxide bubbling up from the solid form. We talked about how the liquid juice was "catching" the gas.

At this point our younger kids went and played while the older kids modeled dry ice dissolving into water with a molecular modeling set. By the time we were done, there was enough carbon dioxide in the juice to make it "fizzy" enough to taste.

So we poured everyone a cup and had a snack!

Safety note: Make sure there is NO dry ice in your cups! Never drink dry ice.

Be sure to check out our other dry ice experiments

Are you talking about states of matter? Here is another fun science project where you can see different states of matter!  You may also want to check out my collection of over 150 science experiments and activities for preschoolers!

Happy Educating,

I may share at any of these parties!

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