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Lesson Plan

Chemical reactions with baking soda

Do a series of activities that mix baking soda and an acid to make gas. Connect by their chemical reaction. Introduce gas pressure by enclosing the reaction and setting off a rocket.
Science content (2016 curriculum): 
Chemistry: States of Matter, Properties of Materials (K-7)
Chemistry: Atoms, Molecules (3-7)
Chemistry: Chemical Changes (2, 7)
Curriculum connection (2005 science topic): 
Physical Science: Properties of Objects and Materials (grade K)
Physical Science: Properties of Matter (grade 2)
Physical Science: Chemistry (grade 7)

Baking soda is a common chemical in our kitchen that is an easy grab for chemical reactions.
Selections of these activities can be presented in many different ways.

Suggestions for different lesson plans:

1. Start with making scones. While they are baking figure out what ingredients make the gas, then model it with molecular models.
End with the same reaction in film canister rockets.

2. Start with the familiar baking soda and vinegar reaction. Figure out the chemistry with molecular models.
Try mixing the baking soda with other acids to make the soda drink.
Enclose the same chemical reaction to shoot off a film canister rocket.

3. Start with soda drink., then use molecule models to figure out the reaction. Include other juices.
The same chemical reaction can be enclosed to set off a film canister rocket.


Other baking soda expts: collect CO2 gas over water and put out a candle; invisible ink (1:1 baking soda:water, then heat or add indicator dye)

Science club did #1
Laurier and ingridscience afterschool did #3
ingridscience afterschool did scones then black snakes
Tyee and CAGIS did #2. Other activities were added to the end of these lessons: at Tyee, stomp rocket for more on pressure. With CAGIS, somewhat randomly, I added bubbles activities, to explore the chemistry of why bubbles are made. CAGIS attendees had a name tag showing all the molecules visited during the workshop.

Grades tested: 
Gr K
Gr 2
Gr 3
Gr 4
Gr 5
Gr 7
Scott Malin
Sonia Ko
Sonja Watson
Site tested: 
CAGIS (Canadian Association for Girls in Science)
General Gordon Elementary Science Club
ingridscience afterschool
Laurier Elementary
After School Program at Elementary schools in New York City
Tyee Elementary
Lesson plan originally developed and delivered: 

The School at Columbia After School Program