Get Messy with Chemistry!

Flying Soda

See what happens when you drop Mentos into a bottle of diet soda!

phone with a picture of a Diet Coke and Mentos Activity
Pacifica High School ChemClub, Oxnard, CA
  • Mentos–Diet Coke Geyser
    Stand back! Prepare for a soda eruption in 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…
  • Mentos Geyser Tube
    Ready to try the Mentos–diet soda geyser, but not ready to risk getting soda all over yourself? Try a pre-made drop tube, plus three tube caps for different soda sprays.
  • Make Your Own Mentos Geyser Tube
    Got some time and feeling handy? Create your own tube to drop Mentos into soda bottles.
  • Mythbusters: Soda and Mentos
    Mint or fruit flavor? The Mythbusters investigate which produces more bubbles in this “mini-myth” video.
  • Extreme Mentos & Diet Coke
    101 two-liter bottles of Diet Coke + 523 Mentos = extremely messy chemistry. See the video that started it all.
  • Soda–Candy Explosions
    What’s really going on when you drop a Mentos candy in soda? Even science researchers want to find out!

Alka–Seltzer Rockets

Blast off! Create a rocket using an Alka–Seltzer tablet and a film canister.

Student waiting for his Alka-Seltzer rockt to blast off
Ottawa High School ChemClub, Ottawa, IL
  • Alka–Seltzer Film Canister Rocket
    Load up a film canister and let it rip! Then, take a look at more variables to change, with some neat science fair ideas.
  • Alka–Seltzer Student Science Experiment
    Follow these easy directions to get ready for lift-off, then try two challenges: create a rocket that launches in two stages or that uses more than one film canister.
  • Alka-Seltzer Rocket Race
    The race is on! Answer the question of which rocket will launch first—does the surface area of an Alka–Seltzer make a difference?
  • Alka–Seltzer / Film Canister Rockets
    Where does the fizz come from? Learn about it and find more things to try, like what if you use hot water instead?
  • Alka–Seltzer Rocket Patterns
    Cut and paste like a pro with these ready to print and use patterns for rocket nose cones and fins.

Bubbles

Stir up some soapy science with giant bubbles, dry ice crystal ball bubbles, square bubbles, and more.

bubbles
  • Milli's Magnificent Bubble Solution
    Sugar? Glycerin? Plain dishwashing soap? Explore which bubble solution makes the longest-lasting bubbles.
  • Giant Bubble Experiment
    For when a mere, ordinary-sized bubble is not enough. Learn how to make a bubble wall and monster bubbles.
  • Bubble Snakes—Bubble Blower
    Hissssssss… here comes the easy-to-make soap bubble snake—in rainbow colors! All you need is a plastic bottle, fabric, food coloring, and bubble solution.
  • Dry Ice Crystal Ball Bubble
    What prediction do you see in this crystal ball? That you’ll love this soap film filled with carbon dioxide gas and water vapor!
  • Square Bubble
    Create a beautiful bubble—so light, so airy, so… square? Find out how to construct a special square bubble maker using pipecleaners.
  • Soap Bubbles—Basic Properties, Bubble Recipe & More
    A big collection of bubble information, even a “bubbliography.”
  • Bubble Town—Soap Bubble Fun and Magic
    Take a trip to Bubble Town to become a bubble blowing expert, with bubble juice recipes and tricks to try.

Super-Erupting Foam

Use the classic Elephant’s Toothpaste demonstration in new ways.

A student demonstrating the use of different percentages of hydrogen peroxide in an elephant's toothpaste demonstration
Lakeville South High School ChemClub, Lakeville, MN

Oobleck

Mix up a batch (or two, or three) of ooey, gooey oobleck.


Miscellaneous Messes

Not messy enough yet? Here's a few more things to try.

glass egg
  • Detergent-powered Boat
    This small paper boat doesn’t need a motor to make it go—just a drop of detergent and surface tension. Make one!
  • Making Naked Eggs
    How do you get an egg to take off its shell? What does it look and feel like when it’s gone?
  • Bubble Bomb
    Mix up these easy-to-find kitchen chemicals and make a freezer bag explode.
  • Microwave Ivory Soap
    Um, soap? In a microwave? Grab a fresh bar of Ivory soap and see what happens!
  • Disappearing Ink
    Now you see it, now you don’t. Learn about the chemistry behind disappearing ink and make your own.

(all sites accessed July 2013)