STEAM Saturday – “Exploding” Sidewalk Chalk! (6/24/2023)

Exploding sidewalk chalkWe know that one of the most popular activities kids love doing during the summer is drawing outside with sidewalk chalk. Outdoor art time will be positively bursting with fun when you and your child make “exploding” sidewalk chalk! This is a wonderful introduction to science – specifically chemistry – and it can be done with items you likely already have at home!

Here’s what you’ll need to make your project pop!

  • White Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Corn Starch
  • Food Coloring
  • Tissue Paper (or toilet paper, tissues, etc.)
  • Quart Food Storage Bags

First, add one cup of corn starch, one cup of vinegar, and a few drops of food coloring to a food storage bag. Repeat this process to make as many as you’d like. Seal the bags and use your hands to mix the corn starch and vinegar together. Once all the corn starch is dissolved, set the bags aside.

Next, place 1 tablespoon of baking soda on to a square of your tissue paper/toilet paper and fold it so that the baking soda can’t spill out. Make sure you have one of these for each bag of the corn starch and vinegar mixture that you made.

Take your bags and baking soda “bombs” outside to a flat, paved surface. Open one corner of your food storage bag and drop a baking soda packet in, then seal the bag again right away. Shake the bag gently, place it on the ground, and step away (safety first!). The baking soda will release and mix with the vinegar, causing a chemical reaction. The bag will begin to fill with gas until it pops, leaving a color explosion on the sidewalk!

Check out the full experiment, the science behind it, and ways to add even more learning to this experiment from the Hess UnAcademy HERE.

As always, get as creative as you want, and above all, have lots of fun learning together!

We’ll see you right back here next Saturday for another STEAM Saturday activity!  Scroll through the rest of our website to learn how Critchlow Adkins is Building Brighter Futures for the children and families we serve!

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