Foamy Kitchen Fun

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We have a popular experiment we do in our Amazing Science Demonstrations called Elephant Toothpaste. This experiment requires some chemicals you won't have at home, but we have developed a kitchen friendly version for you to experiment with!

First, grab a small cup. Fill the cup about half full with hydrogen peroxide. Next, rip open a pack and pour some of those little yeasts into the hydrogen peroxide!

What happens?!

Here's what you'll need:
  • A cup
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • a package of yeast
  • dish soap
  • spoon

Try experimenting with this! What happens if you stir the yeast in? What happens if you add dish soap? Does it matter what you add first?

So what happens in this experiment? Hydrogen peroxide is made of two hydrogen atoms and 2 oxygen atoms. I bet you know H20 is the chemical formula for water. Well, H202 is the formula for hydrogen peroxide.

Hydrogen peroxide wants to breakdown, or decompose, into water and oxygen. The yeast have a nice enzyme in them called catalase. This catalase allows the hydrogen peroxide to start its decomposition process which leads to a release of gas.

Have you ever wondered why hydrogen peroxide bubbles on your skin? We have catalase in our bodies too! When you fall and scrape your knee, cells become opened up exposing some catalase. When mom uses the hydrogen peroxide to clean up your scrape, the peroxide mixes with the catalase and we see bubbles!

Find more experiments to try at home by visiting scienceoffcenter.org!

Written by the Science Off Center team

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