This is the now classic “mentos fountain” experiment with a little twist … we use lifesaver candies. Since Lifesavers have a hole in the middle they are just begging to be strung on a paper clip, held in place with a binder clip and then dropped into a 2 liter bottle of soda! Check out the YouTube video at the bottom where we did this with over 360 bottles of Diet Pepsi and nearly 1800 mint lifesavers.
What you need:
- Binder Clip
- Paper Clip
- Mint LifeSavers
- 2 Liter of Diet Soda at room temperature
This experiment should be done outside in an open area because it can get messy!
What to do:
1. Straighten out the paper clip to form a hook.
2. String 5 LifeSavers on the paper clip.
3. Clamp the end of the paper clip in the binder clip.
4. Carefully open the soda bottle without causing
too many bubbles.
5. Suspend the LifeSavers in the bottle with the binder clip resting on the rim of the bottle.
6. Pinch open the clip and RUN.
What’s the science?
Mint LifeSaver candies have a million microscopic pits on them that allow for a process called nucleation. Nucleation is a phase change. In this case the phase change is a bubble forming from a liquid. The little pits on the candy are places where bubbles can form. The bubbles in the soda are carbon dioxide. When a candy is dropped into the soda all of the carbon dioxide will rush to the candy and form lots and lots of bubbles. There are so many bubbles that the pressure builds up and pushes the soda out of the top of the bottle.
What will happen if . . .
- you use more or fewer LifeSavers?
- you use another kind of candy like Sweet Tarts or Mentos?
- you use cold soda?
- Choose one thing to change (that’s the variable), and predict what you think will happen, then test it.