Getting your kids excited about science can be fun and educational with very little preparation and few supplies. The most engaging projects combine thrilling presentations backed by solid scientific explanations. One of the best examples of this is the classic Mentos and Diet Coke experiment which is simple, fun, and informative.
You will need:
- A two-liter bottle of Diet Coke
- 1 roll of Mentos mints
- 1 piece of 8×10 inch paper, like construction paper
Step 1: Open the bottle of Diet Coke and place it on a flat surface outdoors. This will get very messy, so be prepared.
Step 2: Roll the paper into a cone with the small opening wide enough to allow a mint to pass through but small enough to fit the bottle’s mouth and place a piece of tape on the side to maintain the shape.
Step 3: Load the cone you’ve made with all of the Mentos, holding your finger over the small opening to prevent the candy from falling out.
Step 4: Place the paper tube over the mouth of the bottle and remove your finger, allowing the candy to fall into the soda all at once.
This is a fun experiment that kids of all ages will enjoy, and the science behind it can be summed up fairly easily. The Mentos has a rough surface which helps create carbon dioxide bubbles. As the candy is sinking, more and more bubbles are produced. Those rising bubbles react with carbon dioxide that is still dissolved in the soda, creating even more bubbles. The result is an eruption that will excite your whole family. Even though this experiment seems very messy, cleanup is a breeze with just a garden hose!