There are all sorts of reactions going on around us each day. A chemical reaction is something that happens when two or more substances come into contact with each other. One substance combines with another and creates a whole ew substance that wasn't there when the reaction started. Different types of reactions can happen depending on the substances that are put together. Sometimes a little of the original ingredients will be left over after the reaction, and sometimes more than one new substance will be formed in the reaction. In the yeast science project, the yeast reacted with the warm sugar-water and produced carbon dioxide, which you could see filling up the balloon.
There are also many other types of chemical reactions that take place around us and even inside of us every day! Can you think of any examples? Here are a few to get you started:
In the slime experiment, you learned what a polymer is - a long chain of hundreds or thousands of tiny molecules. The slime you made is an interesting type of polymer that can act like a solid or a liquid depending on how it is handled. There are lots and lots of polymers in our world. Some are natural and some are made by humans, or synthetic. Here are a few examples of polymers:
For more information and project ideas for teaching kids about polymers, check out our Polymer and Slime Experiments page.
Use this worksheet as a fun activity to reinforce the basic chemistry concepts of chemical reactions and polymers. Kids can color the page and then determine whether each picture is a polymer, a reaction, or neither.
Chemical reaction- when two or more substances come into contact and form a new substance.
Carbon Dioxide- a gas that is in the air on earth, but in very small amounts. Plants need it in order to live; they use it to covert sunlight into food. Humans breathe out carbon dioxide when we exhale. In chemistry, it is abbreviated CO2, which means that is has one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms.
Oxygen - a gas that is very abundant on earth and that humans and most animals breathe to stay alive. It does not have any color, smell, or taste.
Polymer- the word "poly" means many, so a polymer is a long chain of molecules that gives a substance the ability to stretch and be very flexible.