Science Will Save the World! Episode 3: We’ve Got Chemistry! (Acid and Base Experiment) with Jessie Rack

Science Will Save the World! Episode 3: We’ve Got Chemistry! (Acid and Base Experiment)

With Jessie Rack

Today we are exploring the wonderful world of chemistry with an acid-base experiment. Using household ingredients, we create a reaction that (if we’re lucky) makes a Ziploc bag explode!


1/2 cup Vinegar

2 Tablespoons Baking Soda

Ziploc bag Paper towel (ripped into a square)

3/4 cup water

Food coloring (optional)


Atom – the teeny-tiny building blocks that make up all matter in the universe. Kind of like Legos.

Ion – atoms or groups of atoms with an electrical charge, either positive or negative.

Acids and Bases – special chemicals that contain lots of ions, which makes them want to react with each other. Acids have lots of positive ions; bases have lots of negative ions.

*** Higher-Level Science Explanation:

What’s really happening here is a two-part reaction.

n step one, vinegar (acetic acid) reacts with the baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to form sodium acetate and carbonic acid.

In step two, the carbonic acid immediately falls apart into carbon dioxide and water. The bubbles you see are the carbon dioxide leaving the solution!

Equation: (for proper notation, see…)

Step 1: Sodium bicarbonate + acetic acid → sodium acetate + carbonic acid NaHCO3 + HC2H3O2 → NaC2H3O2 + H2CO3

Step 2: Carbonic acid → water + carbon dioxide H2CO3 → H2O + CO2

Once again, this production is brought to you by the University of Arizona’s Community and School Garden Program. And Penny!

Sedona Recycles (Sedona)

Sedona Recycles is a non-profit community recycling center dedicated to environmental education. They offer free classes for any grade or age level to schools, clubs, and other organizations. Classes are specific to teachers’ desired goals, and educational tours of the facility are an excellent tie-in. Recycling conserves energy, water, and land as well as other natural resources so many facets of curriculum can be addressed. They have done recycled art classes with materials provided from the center, and even marine biology classes including information on the effects of plastics in the ocean.