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Pop Rocks and Soda Projects

Updated on October 17, 2011

Pop Rocks make for science fun.

Explosive Science Fun

You may have heard the legend that if you eat Pop Rocks and drink cola at the same time you will explode. You could use this idea to create an interesting science project that will teach you all about carbon dioxide. Using information about Pop Rocks and soda, and making sure you follow the scientific method, you can create an experiment that will be entertaining, informative, and fun.

How Pop Rocks are Made

According to Pop Rocks, Inc., the process of making Pop Rocks candy is very similar to the process for making most other types of hard candy. The candy makers mix sugar, corn syrup, flavoring, and lactose (the sugar found in milk). The next step, however, is what separates Pop Rocks candy from other kinds of hard candy. The candy is infused with carbon dioxide under high pressure. The 600 pounds of pressure per square inch causes little bubbles of carbon dioxide to form within the candy. The candy then cools and traps the air bubbles, and the air bubbles aren't released until the candy melts in your mouth.

How Soda is Made

Soda is made in a similar way. Manufacturers of soda pop inject carbon dioxide into a liquid at high pressure. The liquid is then sealed in a vacuum-sealed container. When the container is opened, the pressure inside is released, and the carbon dioxide comes out of the liquid, forming bubbles that rise to the surface and then pop.

Scientific Method

With a background and understanding of the two ingredients involved in the science experiment, apply the 6-step scientific method to your project. First, you need to ask a question. Next, conduct background research. Third, develop a hypothesis (an educated guess about what the answer to your question will be). Fourth, test your hypothesis by conducting a well-developed experiment. Fifth, analyze the results of your experiment and draw a conclusion. Lastly, communicate your results so others will be able to build on your work.

Applying the Scientific Method

Using the scientific method and a basic understanding of Pop Rocks and soda, you can develop many different science experiments. You could use a mortar and pestle to see if you can release the carbon dioxide in Pop Rocks without getting them wet at all. You could combine Pop Rocks and soda to determine if they cause a chemical reaction or a physical reaction. You could compare the reaction of combining Pop Rocks with water to the reaction of combining Pop Rocks with soda. Ask good questions, and develop experiments to answer your questions.


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