Most kids love it when things get a little messy! STEM activities are the perfect opportunity to do just that while at the same time learning the scientific method. This soda and Mentos science experiment for kids is no exception. It delivers foamy, messy fun while providing a great opportunity to learn.
Candy science experiments inherently pique the interest of kids because it seems their little ears perk up at the mention of that five letter word. Add in the soda and they are hooked! This fairly simple experiment adapts to many variables and offers a TON of scientific experiences for young learners. You just need a few household items along with some candy and pop and you’re ready to get messy!
Value of Cool Science Experiments for Kids
What exactly do science projects and candy experiments teach our kids? More than you think!
From the process itself to the results produced, there is much to be learned through fun science experiments. You can vary experiments to suit the needs, ages, and abilities of all students.
Our youngest learners simply need the experience of the process itself. Throw in vocabulary as appropriate like, experiment/question/result/steps/ingredients. Don’t worry about students being able to remember or repeat the vocabulary.
Consider focusing on one specific step or vocabulary word at a time. For example, if you’re experimenting with the effects of mixing lemon juice into various household items like baking soda and dish soap, you might focus on the terms independent/dependent variable.
- Scientific Method. There are seven steps in the Scientific Method. Easily adapt the vocabulary or focus for any age level.
How to Do the Mentos and Soda Science Experiment
A flat surface works best so that soda pop bottles do not tip over during the explosion.
Teach about controlled, independent, and dependent variables by adding two different types of Mentos in the same soda, or conversely by adding one type of Mentos to various types of soda.
Variation #1: Which candy produces the most foam?
- 1 sleeve fruity Mentos
- 1 sleeve mint Mentos
- 2 16-20 oz. bottles of the same soda (diet works the best)
- Plastic cups
- Smartphone or video camera for slow motion playback
- Prepare the candy by removing from the packaging and placing each variety in its own plastic cup.
- Pour equal amounts of the same soda into two more cups.
- Simultaneously drop the entire contents of each candy cup into the soda cups.
- Watch and video the explosion to see which type of candy creates the best chemical reaction.
Variation #2: Which soda creates the most foam?
Follow the steps from above, except use one type of Mentos candy poured into 3 or more different types of soda.
Keep all of your results organized and clear by posting them on index cards or a whiteboard.
Ideas for Extending the Mentos and Soda Experiment
- Pour the soda into different type of water bottles, cups and vases with varying shapes and sizes to see if the foam shoots higher.
- Design unique ways of dropping the candy into the soda. For example, make a funnel out of paper that releases the candy into the bottle.
- Experiment with adding other ingredients to the candy (ie., baking soda) and dropping into the soda mixed with food coloring, dish soap, or vinegar to see if/how the results of the experiment change.
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Our Favorite S.T.E.M. Books:
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Once your child’s creativity is sparked with this fun activity, take it a step further with these engaging resources:
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