In this activity, students will design, conduct, and report the outcome of an experiment in which they investigate some factor that affects the rate of reaction between baking soda and vinegar. The dynamic nature of the reaction, coupled with a wide range of possible choices of independent variable, makes this a highly engaging activity. Students will learn the meaning of independent and dependent variable, and gain an understanding of experimental controls.
Before the Activity
Teachers need to put out the necessary equipment and download the timer program onto calculators.
Distribute and go over the handout for the project.
Students will need one 50 minute class period to conduct the pre-lab activity and plan their experiment.
During the Activity
Students will require between one and two 50-minute class periods to conduct their investigations. Once finished collecting data, the students are to work cooperatively to create a group report. The report must show a graph of the data.
After the Activity
Depending on how many groups are in the class, it will take 1 or 2 class periods to conduct the oral presentations. Ideally, students would project their graphs as a visual aid during the presentation of the findings.