Mentos/Coke Lab

Using candy and soda to teach change of state, scientific inquiry, experimental design, and interpreting data.

Day One
Demonstration: 7–10 Mint Mentos into a 2-litre bottle of Diet Coke

  • has anybody seen this done?
  • has anybody done this themselves?
  • does anyone have any idea what is going to happen?
  • does anyone have any idea what causes the fountain? (record these ideas)

Questions for the class:

  • what factors are important in this reaction?
  • which important factors are from the candy?
  • which important factors are from the soda?
  • Ideas = sugar, caffeine, carbonation, number of candies, size of the bottle, coloring in the soda, temperature of the soda…

Break up the class into 6, 7 teams of 3 or 4, depending on count. Each team has a recorder.
Is it the Candy? or is it the Soda?
Half will be Candy teams, half will be Soda teams.
Hand out the Student Activity Sheet
Write the Available Materials List on the board
Give the teams 10-15 minutes to come up with a few hypotheses and predictions based on their group, Candy or Soda.
Class Discussion:

  • What hypotheses did the Candy/Soda teams develop? Ask both groups in serial.
  • Are there any hypotheses that need to be added?
  • Are the hypotheses testable?
  • Are they using all the available materials?

Testing Methods:

  • How will we measure the effects? (candy, soda reaction)
    • height?
    • weight of the bottle?
  • How many times will we repeat the experiment?
  • What will we do as a control experiment?
  • How will we record and compare our results?
  • Develop a set of experiments to test your hypothesis with your group.  Write a step-by-step experimental method. Generate a list of materials you will need.Image

Day Two:

  • Finalize your procedures and gather your materials.
  • Follow your procedures and do your experiments.
  • Remember to wear your safety goggles and do not eat or drink anything.
  • Record your results (and any changes to your methods).
  • Organize the data you collected into a table or chart.
  • Did the data support your hypothesis?
  • How does your data provide evidence?
  • What questions do you have about what causes the fountains?
  • How would you go about answering those questions?

*items in bold are deliverables due at the end of class on Friday.
*arrange to film the lab with an iPad.

About gblakney

Middle School Mathematics Teacher, passionate EdTech user who loves to experiment with new methods and tools in the classroom. Following the lead of Dan Meyer and Jo Boaler, I create a safe place for kids to discover the fun and beauty of maths. I use Number Talks and Groupwork to make maths accessible for all of my students. I enjoy Mathematics and I'm enthusiastic about teaching; the kids really respond to that.
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