Since we had co-op today and the boys had a number of things to work on and finish before we went, I kept the morning’s schedule pretty light in terms of academics.  One thing that we did get to do was another chemistry experiment.  This time we filled four vials and a glass with ordinary vinegar and dropped various objects in them.  In the first vial we added baking soda and there was a spectacular fizzing effect.  The boys knew this would happen so it didn’t get a “wow reaction”.  We tried laundry detergent in the second vial.  It mostly floated but it did produce some bubbles.  The next vial got a shell put in it.  It bubbled more than the laundry detergent and after a short while we noted that although the shell had started out white, it was quickly turning brown.  Its outer layer was being stripped off by the acidic vinegar.  The last vial had a piece of chalk added to it.  It fizzed quite spectacularly and got the “wow reaction” every homeschool mom likes to see on her young learners’ faces.  A limestone rock was added to the cup of vinegar.  It too let off bubbles.  We learned that many compounds are classified as carbonates – things that contain the basic molecular component of carbon dioxide.  Vinegar, being an acid, reacts with the carbonates so that their trapped CO2 gas is released.  Hence the bubbles.  Who would have thought that such ordinary things had carbon dioxide in them or that the wonder ingredient of science (vinegar) could release it?  Certainly not I.  I’m so glad that I can learn right alongside D-11 and P-9.

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