Elephant toothpaste adventure (9+)
"Hey Victoria, what can we do with hydrogen peroxide?" "We could make elephant toothpaste."
We didn't have soda bottles, so we used our squeeze bottles.
- Add 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide
- Add squirt of dish detergent
- Add a few drops of food colouring (the kids were worried about diluting the hydrogen peroxide so they kept it to a minimum)
- 1 teaspoon yeast dissolved in approximately 2 tablespoons very warm water. This activates the yeast so it's awake and kicking for the experiment.
It foamed up beautifully.
Then one of the boys decided it would be really cool if we put the squeeze bottle lid on for our second experiment. It was really cool. But I'd do this outside next time.
Note: this is super safe, since there's no hydrogen peroxide left over after the experiment runs its course. Just soap and water.
[faq-toggle title="What is hydrogen peroxide?"]Well, you use it on cuts to clean them. It bubbles and foams. That's because blood has a protein in it called catalase, that acts as a catalyst, turning hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. The bubbles form as all that oxygen comes off.[/faq-toggle]
[faq-toggle title="What's happening in this experiment?"] In this case, yeast takes the place of catalase, but the reaction going on is the same. You start out with hydrogen peroxyde (H2O2) and when it comes into contact with the active yeast, it starts releasing oxygen (O2) and water (H2O). The soap in the mix just captures those bubbles.
With the lid on the mixture, you can see how quickly all that oxygen builds up pressure. Ours shot up about 8 feet. [/faq-toggle]