Saturday, August 13, 2016

Pop Rocks Experiments

Kids love science experiments. Our local chocolate and candy store (Beaverdale Confections) advertised a ton of varieties of Pop Rocks and I just knew I had to incorporate them into a daycare activity. I bought $10 worth of Pop Rocks and then looked up experiments we could do with them. I found a few ideas online, but the ones that caught my eye were testing in various liquids and blowing up a balloon with Pop Rocks. So that's what we tried.

The Pop Rocks flavors: Bubble Gum (that actually turned into bubble gum once the fizzling stopped), Tropical Punch, Watermelon, Grape (these weren't purple like we expected, but white. The kids and I were both amazed), Strawberry, Green Apple, Cherry Cola, Chocolate, and Original Cherry flavor.


Our liquids: Mountain Dew, Powerade, Coke, Diet Coke, Vinegar, and Water.

The kids got to taste each flavor of Pop Rocks as I opened them. We put Bubble Gum in the cup of Mountain Dew, Tropical Punch in the Powerade, Watermelon in the Coke, Grape in Diet Coke, Strawberry in Vinegar, and Green Apple in water. As the kids taste tested, we watched each cup and took notes on how much it fizzed, how loud the popping was, and how quickly the Rocks dissolved (and if it turned the liquid colors).

The Mountain Dew created the most fizz (and it kept fizzing for quite a while) while the Diet Coke made extremely loud popping noises. 


Then came the fun of blowing up a balloon with Coke and Pop Rocks.

This was actually really simple but it works best with two people. I had my daycare assistant hold open the balloon for me while I poured the entire packet of Pop Rocks in. Then I had to put the balloon over the neck of the bottle while my assistant held onto the middle of the balloon, making sure the Pop Rocks didn't fall into the  Coke. Once the balloon was on securely, we let the Pop Rocks fall in. Instead of a lot of fizzing or hearing the popping, the balloon collected air.

At the end of the experiment, I let the kids taste each of the liquids with the Pop Rocks in them (most had already dissolved). Yes, they even tried the vinegar and informed me it was gross (even though I warned them it would be). Most of the kids had never tasted Moutain Dew, Coke, Powerade, etc. but they thought it was "so cool" that I let them have a sip. To round out the experiment, I had them write or draw pictures of the experiment and tell me which of the liquids they thought tasted the best.

The Pop Rocks Experiments kept all ages entertained and didn't make a huge mess. The floors were a bit sticky and popped for a while because of the kids dropping some Pop Rocks but nothing that wasn't easily cleaned.