Fizzing Fireworks


Fizzing Fireworks

By Adventure Science Center

Looking for a fun activity for the budding scientists in your family this Independence Day? Explore chemical reactions with some outdoor fun in this science + art activity!


  1. Solid–
    (noun) the state in which matter maintains a fixed volume and shape
  2. Liquid–
    (noun) the state in which matter maintains a fixed volume but adapts to the shape of its container
  3. Gas–
    (noun) the state in which matter expands to occupy whatever volume is available
  4. Reaction–
    (noun) chemical transformation or change; the action between atoms or molecules to form one or more new substances


  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Measuring Spoon
  • Spray Bottle (or Pipette)
  • Food Coloring
  • Water
  • Coffee Filters
  • Contact Paper
  • Tape


  1. Cover a table with sticky contact paper (sticky side up) and tape down to secure.
  2. Stick the coffee filters all over the sticky contact paper.
  3. Fill your spray bottle with a ¾ vinegar, ¼ water solution.
  4. Scoop some baking soda and drop it onto the coffee filters.
  5. Begin to drip food coloring onto the filters and spray with your solution.
    • Watch for the fizzy reactions as the baking soda reacts with the vinegar solution.
  6. Add more colors, more solution and more baking soda until your fireworks have been fizzing long enough!
  7. Let your coffee filters dry. Once dry, remove them and see the beautiful creations of your fizzy fireworks.
    • From here, you can lay out some new coffee filters and start again!


Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate: each molecule of baking soda contains a sodium atom, a hydrogen atom, an oxygen atom, and a carbon dioxide molecule.

Vinegar contains acetic acid, each molecule of which contains a hydrogen atom, and an acetate ion.

When combined, the hydrogen atom in the acetic acid meets up with the hydrogen and oxygen atoms in the baking soda to form a molecule of water, while the acetate ion grabs onto the sodium atom and forms a salt, sodium acetate. The carbon dioxide molecule, free of its other chemical bonds, can now escape, and bubbles forth as a gas. (via UCSB ScienceLine)




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