Friday, August 13, 2010

Soda Pop Fire Extinguisher

We used one of yesterday's birthday candles, to perform a follow up experiment, dealing with carbon dioxide. From our "ghost" bubbles experiment, we learned that carbon dioxide is heavier than air.

Today, using a bottle of soda pop, and the birthday candle, I demonstrated to the children, that carbon dioxide is not combustible.

First, I stood the candle, with a small lump of play dough, in a bowl. Then, I lit it, and we waited for it to burn down, into the the bowl. We needed the candle to be short, because we knew the gas would sink, into the bowl.

While the candle was burning, we drank most of the pop, leaving a small amount, of still fizzy soda, in the bottle. We reviewed the fact, that the fizziness is caused by carbon dioxide. We've experimented with that before, too. Click, here, or here, to read about it.

Finally, when the candle was getting low, but burning well, we shook the bottle, and opened it next to the candle.



Our flame dimmed, but didn't go out, so we tried the whole thing over again, but this time used a two liter bottle of Coke Zero, that was less than a quarter full.
At, first it looked like nothing was happening, but while we were discussing the possibility of the pop being too flat, the flame began to dim, and die out, right in front of us.
It didn't flicker, like it does when you blow it out, but instead, just got smaller, and dimmer, and then snuffed out, as the gas settled over it.


It's great to be a homeschooler.

9 comments:

Raising a Happy Child said...

This is a neat way to get some CO2 :) Looks like a successful experiment in the end.

Christy said...

That is a great experiment.

(V.Kerr) School Time Adventures said...

wow, cool idea!

Ticia said...

That is way too cool.

Though if I'd had the day you talked about, I would have sprung for the real Dr. Pepper.

I remember doing something like that in middle school.

Phyllis said...

That is a very cool experiment! Love the photos.

wonderinthewoods said...

I love all the experiements and activities in your posts. I'm reading along even if I don't comment each time! I'm going to link you. =)

Pebblekeeper said...

What I heard was - Go get yourself some Diet Doctor Pepper. Oh, Make sure you have and extra diet coke. . . . Drink cold soda in the kitchen . . . . I think I got distracted. :) Just kiddin' . . . Very cool project. We will do this one!

Wonder Mom said...

Fun- and now I'm thirsty...

Debbie said...

This is a neat experiment. I am glad that it all worked out for you in the end.