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Root Beer Float Science

What kid wouldn't love a fizzy, foamy (drinkable!) science experiment?

My kids were certainly up for this extra curricular science project. =)

Objective:  Discover what physical and chemical changes occur when ice cream is added to root beer.

  • Root Beer
  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Tall plastic cup or drinking glass 
  • Ice cream scoop
  • Measuring cup

Add a scoop of ice cream to a tall plastic cup or drinking glass. Pour a cup of root beer over the ice cream and observe the reaction.

After making a prediction, we added the root beer to the ice cream in the first glass, and added the ice cream to the root beer in the 2nd glass to observe the difference (the first way foams more than the latter).

Questions for the kids:

The solid and the liquid form a gas. Is this a physical or chemical change? {chemical}

Draw and label the solid, liquid and gas produced when making the root beer float. What happened and why?

If you have a high school student, you could have them explore nucleation. ;-)

For more great science experiments, check out Science Sunday @ Adventures in Mommydom.