What? Exploding soap you say?!?

Last week we did the coolest experiment … EXPLODING SOAP!

First of all, I passed around a bar of Ivory soap and we smelled it, touched it, and thought of as many words as we could to describe it.

Then I told the class we were going to put the bar in the microwave and heat it up.

But first the kids came up with their own predictions as to what on earth was going to happen. Nobody actually thought it would shrink. Smart kids!

Here it goes …

Whoa! Can you believe this? The kids were so excited that I\’m sure we could be heard from the other end of the school.

We tried it again, but this time put food colouring on the soap. I was hoping for a rainbow effect.

Well, not exactly a rainbow, but still pretty cool!

Scientific explanation? The soap is full of moisture and small air bubbles. When the bar heats up, steam is produced and the air bubbles expand. Voila! Exploding soap!  As the steam escapes (you can\’t see any steam … but that\’s what I read :)) the bar cools down and the air bubbles contract so the whole mess of soap starts to shrink a bit.

How does this relate to the curriculum? Heat can change matter.

Here\’s the experiment sheet we used. It\’s very simple … just drawing pics to represent the beginning, middle and end of the experiment.

Have fun!

15 thoughts on “What? Exploding soap you say?!?”

  1. I love doing that experiment! The bad part is that the microwave smells like ivory soap for a loooonnnggg time after that anytime it is used.


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