Shaving cream + baking soda= SNOW! This snow activity welcomes winter the STEM way and works any time of year!
Yes, you read that right! A simple chemical reaction occurs when you mix baking soda and shaving cream, forming a number of new substances – sodium stearate, carbon dioxide and water – that look and feel like snow! The snow feels cold because the chemical reaction causes the liquid in the shaving cream to evaporate.
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- 1 bowl
- shaving cream
- 1 box baking soda
- 1 cup vinegar (optional)
Fill the bottom of your bowl or container with a layer of shaving cream.
Sprinkle a layer of baking soda over the shaving cream.
Here’s the best part – get messy and mix the shaving cream and baking soda together!
Optional: Add vinegar to make your snow erupt! Simply pour it over your snow and create another chemical reaction.
In technical terms, this second chemical reaction occurs when the baking soda, which is a bicarbonate (NaHCO3), mixes with the vinegar, an acetic acid (HCH3COO). One of the products this reaction creates is carbon dioxide. In other words, baking soda is acting as a base (it’s an amphoteric compound and can react as an acid OR a base) and taking protons from the vinegar. The reaction from the vinegar touching the baking soda creates bubbles that release carbon dioxide, creating the fizzy look.