Always wear eye protection during science experiments. Never handle sharp objects, open flames, chemicals, or other dangerous objects without adult permission and supervision.
In this experiment we're going to find out the difference between baking powder and baking soda, two common ingredients in cakes, cookies, and other yummy foods. To figure it out, we're going to do something called an unknown test, which is used tell two substances or mixtures apart based on their chemical differences.
It works like this: say we accidentally mix up a bowl of salt and a bowl of sugar, two substances that look nearly identical. In the kitchen, we can easily tell the two apart. How? We just taste a tiny bit. In the lab, however, we never want to taste our materials unless we know it's completely safe (plus, they might taste bad!). Because we can't use sight or taste, we have to test the chemical properties of each substance to tell them apart.
Using the teaspoon, place a spoonful of baking powder into one container and a spoonful of baking soda into the other.
Close your eyes and and ask a labmate to shuffle the two containers until you don't know which contains baking soda and which contains baking powder. It's a good idea to label each dish, so you don't get the mixed up.
Using the teaspoon, scoop a small amount of water into each container. Wait a few seconds and then observe each container. You should be able to see that one mixture is reacting and the other isn't.
Now, repeat step 3, but this time with vinegar instead of water. You should now see both mixtures reacting. Can you figure out which container holds the baking powder and which container holds the baking soda?