GRAND RAPIDS — Baking soda and vinegar are everyday products we have in our households, right? Well today our weather experiment will combine them to help us learn about greenhouse gases. An exploding lunch bag sounds exciting and it’s the perfect way we will learn about greenhouse gases! So lets get started!
What you need:
- Sandwich bag
- Baking soda
- Warm water
- Measuring cups and spoon
Step 1: Go outside or to the kitchen sink
Step 2: Put ¼ cup of warm water into the sandwich bag
Step 3: Add ½ cup of vinegar to the water in the sandwich bag
Step 4: Put 3 teaspoons of baking soda in the tissue and then fold it up
Step 5: Zip the sandwich bag closed but leave one corner open enough to fit the tissue full of baking soda in
Step 6: Work fast! Drop the tissue with baking soda in the sandwich bag and close the bag
Step 7: Sit back and watch the bag slowly expand and then explode!
What’s happening here? There’s a simple chemical reaction happening inside the sandwich bag between the vinegar which is our acid and baking soda or sodium bicarbonate which is our base. Combining these two is creating a gas or CO2 to be released into the bag. Once the bag can no longer hold the capacity for all the co2 the bag will explode!
CO2 or carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that is actual natural and harmless in small amounts. Greenhouse gases here on earth traps the heat from the sun at the surface so it doesn’t go all right back into space. If we didn’t have greenhouse gases all our heat would go right back out into space and it would not be nearly as warm here on earth but they can also be harmful…
CO2 is not great though in large amounts. We have all heard about co2 emissions regarding global warming….as the CO2 in our atmosphere builds from burning fossil fuels it has a warming effect that could change the earth’s climate.
CO2 is actually one of the most important greenhouse gases because plants use it to produce carbohydrates during photosynthesis. Co2 is commonly produced indoors by the air we exhale since humans and animals depend on plants for food sources this is a critical piece of survival.
So there you have it! The exploding lunch bag learning about greenhouse gases! Send our meteorologist Candace Monacelli your pictures doing this experiments at home! She will feature future meteorologists on my Facebook page daily!