Magic Balloon

GOAL:

  • Inflate a balloon with yeast and learn about how different organisms work.

MATERIALS:

  • A packet of dry yeast
  • Plastic bottle
  • Spoon
  • Sugar
  • Balloon
  • Lukewarm water 

LEARNING EXPERIENCE:

  • Start the experiment by putting the dry yeast (which you can find in any grocery store) into a small, transparent plastic bottle. 
  • Then fill a quarter of the bottle with lukewarm water. 
  • Next measure out a tablespoon of sugar and add it to the mix. Shake the bottle so the mixture combines well.
  • The dry yeast was in a dormant state, but when it is wet it dissolves into the warm water it activates. Take a balloon and put it over the opening and put the bottle in a warm place. If you can’t find any warmer areas to put the bottle in, you can place it in a container of warm water.

What happens with the balloon? It starts to inflate because when the yeast is activated it produces a form of carbon dioxide. The balloon restricts the gas’s ability to leave the container, so it is trapped in the bottle. It accumulates in the bottle until it fills up the balloon as well and it starts to inflate.

You’ve just created a magic balloon!

This type of experiment helps your child start to understand the process of different organisms, in this case a fungus.

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