Plop! Plop! Fizz, Fizz in the Lab!

So, there's a story behind this one!

I was looking for something in one of our lab cabinets and a box of effervescing tablets fell out. A third grader saw the box and said,
"Hey, my grandma has these!"
Well, that was heartbreaking- this is a stomach medicine we use at my house! Am I old enough to be a grandma? #yes

Then I had to explain why I had a box in the lab and it involves rockets and it is not an event I do with third graders, but it made me start thinking.... BAM! Brain pop time.



STEM Challenge- Can you use your data from testing effervescing tablets and draw a conclusion about how to use the tablets?



In this post, for your convenience, you may find Amazon Affiliate links, which means Amazon passes tiny amounts on to me- if you purchase something through that link, at no extra cost to you. This helps keep this little blog running!

So, here's a little more background....

My third graders need some help with understanding the Scientific Method.

When you start talking about variables, controlled ones, dependent ones, and independent ones it makes my head spin. And with eight-year-olds it is really interesting to get them to understand controlled variables and how to make the experiments fair.

To keep them interested I have to make the experiments super cool! Which brings us back to effervescing tablets. Just saying those two words is pretty cool!

"Oh, boy, we are doing real science today!

STEM Challenge- Can you use your data from testing effervescing tablets and draw a conclusion about how to use the tablets?

Usually, when the kids walk in and see trays set up like this I hear someone say, "Oh yay, we are doing real science today!"

 The materials for this experiment are easy- just cups.  The larger plastic cups in the photo came from Wal Mart. Kids needed a way to measure an amount of water to use for each experiment in this effervescing adventure.and the smaller ones I found on Amazon. The image below is clickable!

We use these graduated cups all the time. They are plastic and we just rinse them out when we finish an activity.

Can you say Effervescing correctly?

For this Scientific Method exploration, we first had to learn the word Effervescing. It means a bubbling effect due to a chemical reaction and the result is dissolving. Think Alka Seltzer and you will totally get it!

Then we set out to learn how to fill in lab sheets....
STEM Challenge- Can you use your data from testing effervescing tablets and draw a conclusion about how to use the tablets?

The question was, "What will make the effervescing tablet dissolve faster?"

The little sweetie above wrote, 
"I predict saliva or some sort of acid will make it faster."
Yeah, cause we are definitely going to use our saliva..... but he was thinking!

What is going to happen?

After forming a hypothesis we set about to test the effervescing tablets. This was a very planned procedure with everyone doing it at the SAME TIME because these are third graders and they could not be turned loose with fizzing and bubbling and watching the clock at the same time.

STEM Challenge- Can you use your data from testing effervescing tablets and draw a conclusion about how to use the tablets?
We timed the dissolving by using a very large stopwatch from a website I found. I have stopwatches the kids can use, but with this age group, it takes too long to get everyone to use them correctly and push the right buttons!

The kids recorded their results.
 And in the end, they wrote a conclusion to the experiment.
STEM Challenge- Can you use your data from testing effervescing tablets and draw a conclusion about how to use the tablets?

The question to answer was, "What conclusion can be reached by using your testing data?

Here's the most popular wording of our conclusion, "Hot water is faster. But it will hurt you if you drink it!"

Overall, this was a big hit with my third graders! They learned a ton about variables being controlled. During the testing time, I repeated over and over which variable we were testing and which were controlled.

I suspect they also just loved all that fizzing!

You can find this little fizzing experiment in my TpT store>>>> CLICK HERE

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