|This activity is designed to
help students understand the concept of converting
potential energy into kinetic energy.
|16-20oz bottle (Soda or
Student Journal for Activity
Activity 4- Balloon Blow Up!
1. Pour about 4 oz of water into the bottle
2. Stretch the balloon, blow it up, and then release
all the air. This is necessary to get the rubber
pre-stretched so that it easier to blow up.
3. Put 2 seltzer tablets into the bottle and quickly
stretch the mouth of the balloon over the mouth of bottle and
hold firmly to prevent any gas from escaping around the neck of
In this activity,
we will see what happens when the Seltzer components (citric acid and sodium bicarbonate) are mixed
The crystallized citric acid and sodium bicarbonate by themselves have potential energy
which is "locked up" in their chemical bonds.
When mixed in water, the stored energy in their chemical
bonds is released to form bonds in new chemicals (CO2, water,
and a salt) that also
have potential energy. But CO2 is a gas that
can expand, releasing its potential energy in the form of kinetic energy. In this exercise, the C02
is trapped in a balloon and you can see the kinetic energy in
action as it expands the balloon.
Our bodies also use chemical
reactions to convert the potential energy that is in our food
into kinetic energy allowing us to move, digest, breathe, etc.