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Combustion of a ping pong ball

Light a ping pong ball on fire, and discuss the chemistry.
Science content (2016 curriculum): 
Chemistry: Chemical Changes (2, 7)
Physics: Energy forms, Conservation of Energy (1, 3, 4, 5)
Science topic (2005 curriculum connection): 
Physical Science: Chemistry (grade 7)
Lessons activity is in: 
  • ping pong ball
  • lighter
  • heat proof tray
  • outdoors

Light the ping pong ball and watch it burn.

The ping pong ball is fuel for a combustion reaction: it combines with oxygen to release heat and light. Carbon dioxide and water are made, along with an ash.

Once the combustion reaction starts, the heat it generates keeps the reaction going.

Grades tested: 
Gr 4
Teaching site: 
ingridscience afterschool