How to Fill a Balloon with Gas using Baking Soda & Vinegar

Learn how to fill a balloon with gas using baking soda and vinegar with the instructions in this Howcast science project video.

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Need a cool experiment your child can do for schoolwork or a science fair? Check out the two dozen awesome science projects demonstrated in these videos. The step-by-step instructions make them easy to replicate.

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Every year when I do a science fair, so many kids love to do volcanoes. And the volcano experiment generally uses baking soda and vinegar, and it kind of really isn't how volcanoes really, really work. But if we took the same idea of using baking soda and vinegar and we took a bottle and we used a bottle. I can teach you a really cool concept called chemical reactions, you see. Sometimes when you mix a chemical and a chemical together, nothing happens. A rock and water, nothing happens. But sometimes if you mix two chemicals together something new is made, that was never there before and the end result is something completely new that makes you say, wait a second how did that happen? Well in this experiment what I am going to do is fill up this bottle about a third of the way with vinegar. The vinegar it doesn't matter if its clear, doesn't matter if its red but you do need just about a third of the cup. Step two, my balloon, you see I'm going to take this funnel and I'm going to take some baking soda, I'm going to drop some baking soda into the funnel. Which will then find its way into the balloon, add just enough baking soda until the balloon is filled about half way with baking soda. When that's done I have created a little balloon packet. Now think about it I don't want the reaction to start until I'm ready, because one the baking soda touches the vinegar the chemical reaction is instant. Carbon Dioxide is made and all of the sudden think about it, a balloons filled with carbon dioxide, the more air you put into the balloon, the more carbon dioxide, what happens to the balloon? It gets bigger, well now if I drop the baking soda into the vinegar and carbon dioxide is being made but it's closed, what will happen to the balloon? Male a prediction, and when you're done, try it. Now I'm going to take my baking soda balloon, and carefully place it on the top of this bottle, without ripping the balloon. So you're going to take it, you're going to take the nozzle and you're going to wrap it around the opening of the bottle. And now, what I love about this is I can control the reaction, I'm going to tilt up the balloon and the baking soda, because of gravity it's going to just fall out. And watch what happens when the vinegar and the baking soda meet one another. Whoa, Okay. Guys do you see what's happening? Carbon Dioxide's being made, it can't find a way out. And what's happening to the balloon? Gas is being made the balloon is filling up. Think about this, I just made carbon dioxide. How awesome is it when you learn about chemical reactions? Took a little bit of a shower but not too bad.

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  • Carmelo the Science Fellow

    Carmelo Piazza has been motivating kids in the world of science for the past 15 years. He is currently an elementary school science teacher and owner of several hands-on science centers in downtown Brooklyn. He is working on his next endeavor, a school where science is at the core of the curriculum. Science is cool!!