About the Experiment
This 4‑H STEM Lab experiment introduces kids to chemical reactions. They will learn how chemical reactions are impacted by a catalyst- a material that speeds up reactions but doesn’t react itself. In this activity youth will create a colorful foam fountain by adding yeast to a chemical reaction.
Grades: Pre-K – 2
Estimated Time: 20 minutes
What You'll Need
- 1 , 20oz ounce bottle, rinsed out and dry
- Dish soap
- Food coloring
- ¼ cup warm water
- Small bowl
- Funnel (or make one by rolling a sheet of paper)
- Large rectangular baking pan (this keeps the mess minimal)
- Measuring cup
- ½ cup hydrogen peroxide, 3% or 6% solution *Do not use solutions greater than 6%
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- Additional 20 oz bottles of both 3% and 6% hydrogen peroxide can be used to make the project more challenging.
What to Do
- Combine the warm and yeast in a bowl and set aside for now.
- Put the bottle in the baking pan (this helps to keep from making a mess).
- Using the funnel, pour the hydrogen peroxide into the bottle.
- Add in a few drops of food coloring.
- Add a couple squirts of dish soap.
- Use the funnel to pour the water/yeast mixture into the bottle.
- Take the funnel out quickly and stand back and record your observations!
Questions to Engage Youth
- What did you observe before adding in the water and yeast mixture?
- What changed when you added in the water and yeast mixture?
- What do you notice if you touch the bubbles?
This is an example of an exothermic reaction- a reaction that gives off heat. If you touch the bottle or foam after the reaction starts you will find it is warmer than when you started. The heat is caused by the breakdown of hydrogen peroxide into its base elements, water and oxygen. Usually this chemical reaction happens slowly over time, but when you add the yeast- a catalyst- it speeds up the process amplifying the affects. The oxygen that is released by the process combines with the dish soap to make lots of foam!
Science Fun with Kitchen Chemistry
Fizzy Foam Fun is part of the Science Fun with Kitchen Chemistry Curriculum and available for purchase from Shop4‑H.org.
In this curriculum, kids learn about matter and how it changes form; explore the different properties of matter; find out about acids and bases; and discover how everyday items and kitchen ingredients can be used in cool tests!