Need more information about Mentos® and diet soda? Here's some...
A Brief History of the Phenomenon
Way back in the dark ages, this experiment was performed using wintergreen Life Savers. However, when the manufacturer of the candies changed the diameter making them larger than the opening of the 2-liter bottle, a substitute was needed. Enter Mentos®!
What does it teach?
- Basic chemical concepts such as reactions and the ability to influence reactions by changing
- Slightly more complex concepts such as nucleation (the secret behind the effect), reaction times,
and surface-area interactions.
- Physics concepts such as the ratio of flow & pressure, and the ability to change these by varying
the delivery system (try the experiment with or without a nozzle).
Watch the original video from 2005 that started the sensation
How to Perform This Experiment
- You’ll need a 2-liter bottle of diet soda (diet doesn’t make a sticky mess) and an outdoor location for our geyser. Select a flat surface on the lawn or driveway to place the bottle.
- Start by tying one end of the string to the trigger pin (the string might already be attached to the pin).
- Open the bottle of soda and attach the Geyser Tube. Put the trigger pin into the hole at the base of
the Geyser Tube.
- Twist off the top cap on the Geyser Tube and drop 7 MENTOS® candies into the tube. The trigger
pin will keep the candy from falling into the soda… before you’re ready. Replace the twist-on cap.
- Warn everyone to stand back. Countdown… 3-2-1… and pull the trigger. The Mentos® will drop and the soda will go flying into the air!
- Pour out the remaining soda and take a look at the Mentos®. You can see
where the soda has eaten away at the surface of the candy. No need to waste the candy… they still taste great.
You’ll notice that there is still some soda left in the bottom of the bottle. Twist off the Geyser Tube and taste the soda. Besides tasting minty fresh, you’ll probably notice that all of the bubbles of carbon dioxide are gone (the soda is flat). Cool, huh?
Science Project Ideas Using the Geyser Tube
Display examples of independent variables by asking these questions (choose only ONE variable to test at a time, so they stay independent)
- What temperature gives you the biggest eruption?
- Which number of Mentos® gives you the biggest eruption?
- What type of soda gives the biggest eruption? (cola, root beer, lemon-lime, etc.) NOTE! Use either regular OR diet soda, not both
- Does regular or diet soda give the bigger eruption?
Geyser Tube™ is a Steve Spangler Science creation. Patent Pending. Mentos® is a registered trademark of Perfetti Van Melle B.V.