It is hard to believe that we are starting back at New Experience #1! Our last 52 New Experiences were so much fun that we have decided to do another 52. We are either the most fun-loving family you’ll ever meet, or we are just plain crazy.
I wanted to start 2013 off with a bang. The kids look at our handwritten list of New Experiences hanging in our kitchen and love to relive the experience of licking 9 volt batteries. They have heard me say we started 2012 “with a bang” and now they use that expression to describe it.
So, I thought a science experiment in which soda erupts from its bottle would be a perfect way to start our second round of New Experiences “with a bang”.
I picked up a roll of Mentos and a 20 ounce Pepsi at the grocery store while I was shopping. It wasn’t until I got home and reread the directions that I realized I didn’t get the right ingredients. The directions call for a 2 liter bottle of diet soda. I knew we were going to wind up with a smaller geyser than the video online, and I wondered if the experiment would work at all. Going back to the store was not an option as I had two eager kids waiting to experiment.
I showed the kids the ingredients and asked them what they thought would happen if we put all the Mentos into the bottle of soda. Leah thought the Mentos would melt, and Luke agreed with her. I was really hoping the experiment would be a success so they would be surprised.
We went outside and quickly dropped the Mentos through a tube of paper into the bottle of soda. To my surprise, the experiment actually worked! The soda bubbled up and gushed out of the bottle. It didn’t shoot up several feet in the air like some videos I saw online, but it was still impressive. I did not get a good picture of the full eruption because it was very short-lived.
We talked about how it doesn’t really matter if our hypotheses are wrong. We learn more when the unexpected happens. I also attempted to explain how the experiment works, but it is actually pretty complicated. Even scientists disagree as to why and how Mentos makes soda erupt, so I focused on that teaching point. There are still so many mysteries in the world, and that is what makes science so intriguing. I also admitted that I bought the wrong ingredients. The upside to my mistake is that we will need to try it with diet soda to compare what happens. I didn’t tell Luke and Leah, but I think we’ll also have to try it with other size bottles and see what happens. This was such an interesting experiment that I am sure we will do it a few times this year. I might as well expand on it each time!
This New Experience was definitely one of the shortest ones we’ve tried, but it was a lot of fun for everyone. Even though the experiment captivated their attention, I think the best part for Luke and Leah was drinking the leftover soda. We very rarely drink soda, and I don’t usually let them drink anything with caffeine in it, so drinking Pepsi was a fun treat to kick off our second year of New Experiences!