Thursday 9 January 2014

Seths Laboratory - Elephant's Toothpaste.

Don't you just hate those awkward moments in life...

You've got this elephant at home and the poor thing has the dirtiest teeth you have ever seen but you don't have the sufficient paste to clean them!!! what do you do???

Luckily in one of Seth's science books there is an experiment to make 'Elephants Toothpaste', so as soon as Seth was out of school today we rushed home, put on our Lab wear and hit Seth's Laboratory ready for an early evening of Science. I'd set everything up ready apart from one ingredient which i had left to Mrs M to sort (more about that later).

For this experiment we needed:
  • Empty plastic bottle
  • 120ml hydrogen peroxide (no greater than 3-6 concentration)
  • Washing up liquid
  • Food colouring
  • Dry yeast
  • Hot water
  • Funnel
  • Baking tray or shallow pan

we placed the empty bottle in the shallow pan to avoid unnecessary mess and using the funnel we poured the hydrogen peroxide in to the bottle. We then added a few drops of food colouring (the colour isn't important), followed by a few drops of washing up liquid.

This is when we ran in to a problem... the one ingredient that Mrs M was left to sort out (Dry Yeast) was missing and in its place an empty box. So off to Asda i went as Seth has been desperate to do this experiment for weeks. It didn't take me long and i managed to grab some ingredients for future experiments. When i got back Seth put a teaspoon of dry yeast into a beaker along with two table spoons of hot water (not boiling). He then stirred it and added it to the bottle.

At this point Seth's science book says 'The liquid starts bubbling before producing a foam that SPURTS out of the bottle's neck'...

Sadly nothing but disappointment. Turns out we had used a bottle that was far to big so while we patiently waited for the 'spurting' to happen we decided to start from scratch.

So, same experiment smaller bottle and we changed the food dye colour as the colour hadn't come out in the first experiment. 

The experiment turned out a lot better, but Seth being the very serious scientist that he is he still wasn't completely satisfied...

 See... Serious face! i told you!

Seth then decided he was going to add the two experiments together...

Turns out it was just the catalyst we needed to get the 'spurting' in motion

And there you go, the spurting of a toothpaste like substance fit for our elephant and his poor dental hygiene.

1 comment:

Rebecca Beesley said...

what a great experiment! I always think it is good when experiments don't quite go to plan because that is great learning in itself. Great you got it working in the end though - looks incredible x