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Pop! Froth! Fizz!

I just thought that I would share what we have been doing this week. We have been 'doing' science explicitly every day over the last 2 weeks and I have already noticed a difference in the students' noticing and thinking, not to mention their engagement during these lessons and throughout the day (science has been our first lesson of the day!)

This week we have been working through the activities on Science Online based around the Connected story Pop! Froth! Fizz! Initially we observed what happened when we mixed baking soda and baking powder with water and vinegar (separately) as they do in the story. Today we did the activity 'Billowing Balloons' where baking soda is tipped into a bottle with vinegar in it, and the gas is trapped by a balloon on top of the bottle.

The first activity was great for 'noticing' or 'gathering and interpreting data' as the students used all of their senses to notice what was happening (smell and sound especially), although they really struggled to come up with any sort of explanation as to why the substances were fizzing.

Following up today with the balloons activity really extended their thinking, as they were able to see that the mixture of the two substances made the balloon blow up, which led to interesting discussions about different types of gasses.

One student thought that the mixture was creating helium, as the balloon was raised as it was filled with gas. We tested this theory in two ways - by trapping the gas in the balloon and seeing if it floated up towards the ceiling, and by dropping this balloon at the same time as one blown up by another student (filled with carbon dioxide?) and it dropped faster - so not only was it heavier than air but it was also heavier than carbon dioxide. 

Then we popped both balloons just to see if there was a difference in the sound as well. 


  • Paul Ashman

    What a fantastic lesson! Did you use the google slides and resources online with the Connected story? Just curious as to how useful the resources are...

    I love that children are bringing in prior knowledge -"I think it  might be helium" or that the gas we're breathing out could be carbon dioxide... how could we check? 

    And I really like the balloon popping experiment -could you take this further? Did children record the sounds to really compare?!?

    Would you do the experiments again, or is that all over for pop froth and fizz