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Fizzing Potions and Citrus Explosions

Mad Science Week has kicked off with two of our favorite experiments: Fizzing Potions & Citrus Explosions to explore the basic foundations of science in an open ended intentional setting.

1. Fizzing Potions: We provided beakers, cylinders, pipettes, twisty droppers, baking soda, vinegar mixed with Colorations® Liquid WaterColors, and Dawn Dish Soap. We simply invited the children to explore the materials in order to create a chemical reaction.

The science behind fizzing potions…When baking soda (base) & vinegar (acid) are mixed together, one of the products this reaction creates is carbon dioxide gas. The carbon dioxide gas escapes, & that gas forms the fizz you see coming out of the potion. The liquid watercolors helps see the reaction better & the dawn dish soap makes for bigger fizzing bubbles!

2. Citrus Explosions: We provided baking soda, limes, lemons, dawn dish soap, & citrus press. We cut the citrus up in manageable pieces for squeezing & pressing to enhance their fine motor skills through the various grasps. The children were invited to explore with the materials in order to create a chemical reaction.

The children learned that certain fruits high in Vitamin C or ascorbic acid like citric will also produce a similar fizzy, bubbly reaction when combined with baking soda just like vinegar. When the acid from the citrus fruit combines with the baking soda, a gas is formed. This gas is carbon dioxide which can be seen & felt through the fizzing & bubbling of the two ingredients.

These types of invitations children build a foundation for future scientific learning. Science provides children with the opportunities to explore their environments as they learn about cause & effect, cycles of nature, comparisons, chemical & physical changes, reactions & properties of matter. As curiosity builds, children learn to be patient with projects that take time & how to make decisions based on the data they gathered. A basic skill for "scientific research" is the ability to observe & realize how things are the same & how they are different. Developing this ability to understand likeness & differences builds a science base as well as a skill for future math & reading skills. This science experiment process teaches wonder, process, & patience – while being fun while being a magical open ended experience.

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