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Getting creative with chemistry

Krystle Wagner • Jul 20, 2018 at 10:00 AM

On the count of three, students dropped Mentos into bottles of Diet Coca-Cola, prompting liquid to shoot into the air.

It was one of several experiments that students participated in during the Northwest Ottawa Recreation Authority’s Colorful Chemistry camp at Lakeshore Middle School on Wednesday.

Kelsey Howard said she was surprised the soda sprayed so high into the air.

Wednesday was the experiment portion of the weeklong camp. The students also created “mini rockets” by mixing Alka-Seltzer tablets and vinegar into small canisters.

Isabelle Roelandt, 10, said making lava lamps was the highlight of the camp so far because of the reaction Alka-Seltzer had with the other ingredients.

The ingredients included vegetable oil, water, some food coloring and an Alka-Seltzer tablet, explained Gibson Knights, 10.

“It’s really simple, but it’s really cool,” he said.

Evy Baszler, 9, said her favorite activity during the week was making crystals on a string, which involved twisting pipe cleaners into shapes and placing it into a hot water and baking soda mixture.

Knights said he participated in the camp because he wanted hands-on opportunities with reactions and to learn the “why” behind it all.

Lincoln Hayes, 10, said seeing the reactions and making new friends are some of the reasons he signed up for the camp.

Roelandt’s interest in chemistry led her to participate in the camp.

“There’s a lot of discovery you can have in it,” she said.

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