OK, I have to admit that we really, really like the classic elephants toothpaste demonstration at Imagination Station. Combine a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and dish soap with a catalyst like sodium iodide and you get a foaming tower of, well, foam!
We like it so much that we do it everyday as part of our Method to the Madness demonstration. We have featured it on our weekly science segment Imagine-it on WTVG13 and on an episode of WTOL AM Saturday where we re-branded it “Dinosaur Toothpaste” because of the fossil exhibit we had at the science center at the time. Heck, we have even done it inside a pumpkin for Halloween where it squirts out the face to make a foamy mess.
Earlier this year, when the Harlem Globetrotters were in town we were asked to do some sort of experiment as part of the half-time show. What better thing to do than a giant version of our favorite chemistry demonstration? Check out the video below for an example of the kid-safe at home version and a much larger multi-flask version that looks very cool.
When we do this again, and we will for sure, we will definitely add a whole lot more food coloring to the hydrogen peroxide to get much better colors in the foam that shoots out. Since the 35% hydrogen peroxide “expands” about 100 times in volume, we will have to add a whole lot of coloring to get a really nicely colored foam.
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