STEM activities for kids

STEM Testing Chemical Reactions With Kids

Testing chemical reactions in a safe way with kids is easy and the clean up takes seconds! I guarantee your child or students will love to give this a try.

It’s important to openly communicate what reactions are occurring at the time of the experiment. Also collaborate why vinegar and bicarb soda are reacting this way. This experiment builds higher order thinking skills.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Vinegar
  2. Bicarb soda
  3. Droppers
  4. Food colouring
  5. Dark coloured Card paper
  6. Table protector

Lesson Method:

  1. Start by adding different food colouring into the dropper bottles.

2. Add vinegar into all of the dropper bottles almost to the top. Don’t over fill them so the dropper lids don’t fit back inside.

3. Place a table protector on top of your table and then place dark cardboard on top of the table protector.

4. Add bicarb soda onto your coloured card like mini volcano mountains.

5. Model how to use the dropper of coloured vinegar onto the bicarb soda powder.

6. Give your child or students the time to test and try creating their own chemical reactions.

7. Collaborate – this is the reflective step that needs to occur with your child or students in order to build critical thinking skills. Open discussion about what kids are seeing and smelling during this experiment will start the collaboration between teacher and students (or parent and child). The aim will be to guide kids to use and understand basic chemical reactions and STEM terminology such as “reactive,” “liquid chemical,” “solid chemical” and “test.” You could challenge students with extended vocabulary like: “hypothesis,” “alkaline” and “acidic.”

8. Finally, after the testing chemical reactions between vinegar and bicarb soda, simply roll up the experiment and throw in the bin. Empty and rinse droppers. It’s that easy!

Written By Sarah Courtney,

Master of Education, Cognitive Psychology & Learning Practices

Flinder’s University, Adelaide, Australia.

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