Soda Geyser? Day 5 of Science Camp

 - by KitchenPantryScientist

Sometimes experiments work and sometimes they don’t.  The kids have been begging me to do the “Soda Geyser” experiment with Menthos for as long as I can remember, so we finally tried it on day 5 of Science Camp.

It was a flop.

We did everything right, as far as I could tell, but we used 7-UP instead of Diet Coke, since that’s what I had on hand.  Some scientists think the artificial sweetener in Diet Coke helps create a more violent reaction.  I’m not sure, but all we got when we dumped the Menthos into the soda was a very small geyser.  Let’s just say I felt really silly for yelling at the kids to stand back.

We’ll try again soon with Diet Coke and I expect we’ll have better results.

If you want to try this experiment, you’ll need a two liter bottle of Diet Coke, a roll of Menthos mints and a piece of paper.

Remove the lid from the soda and set it on a flat surface (outside!)  Roll the paper so it will fit into the mouth of the bottle and fill it with the Menthos.  Quickly dump the mints into the bottle and stand back.  Hopefully, you’ll see a huge gyser of soda shoot up from the mouth of the bottle!

Scientists aren’t sure exactly why the Menthos cause such an explosive reaction, but they think it has to do with chemicals in the Menthos breaking the surface tension at the same time that carbon dioxide (CO2) bubbles form on the surface of the mints, causing a huge, very fast release of carbon dioxide bubbles.

Try it and let me know how it works!

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