Magic Balloon

Balloons

Your Challenge: Create a balloon that inflates on its own!

What You Need

  • Bottle with a narrow neck
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Funnel
  • Water
  • Balloon

Here's How

  1. Pour about half an inch of vinegar and half an inch of water into the bottle.
  2. Using the funnel, fill the balloon about halfway full with baking soda.
  3. Without letting any of the baking soda fall into the bottle, stretch the open end of the balloon over the neck of the bottle.
  4. When you're ready, lift the top of the balloon up so that all the baking soda falls into the bottle.
    Magic Balloon
  5. Watch your balloon inflate, as if by magic!

Take It Further

You can experiment with different size balloons, and different amounts of baking soda and vinegar to get the biggest balloon possible! Are there other safe household chemicals that can do the same thing? Do an internet search for some kitchen chemistry experiments that act the same way.

How It Works

Have you ever made a baking soda and vinegar volcano? This project uses the same principles to achieve a different effect! When baking soda and vinegar are combined, they react to form carbon dioxide as one of their products. All that carbon dioxide produced is what inflates your balloon!

Fun Facts

  • Carbon dioxide is one of the byproducts of our bodies' metabolisms, which creates energy from oxygen and food.
  • Carbon dioxide combines with water in our bloodstream to create carbonic acid, an important buffer that regulates our blood's pH levels.
  • High carbon dioxide levels, rather than low oxygen levels, is what triggers our bodies' need to breathe!
  • The polar caps of Mars are mostly made of carbon dioxide.

Resource

Related Careers

Biochemist, Chemist

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