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HOT CHEMISTRY!

Add vinegar to steel wool to make an exothermic reaction

Suitable For

Grade 1

Difficulty

2

Time Required

 <12 Hours

Supervision

Advised

What’s it about?

A ‘chemical reaction’ is simply the breaking apart of substances to form new substances. Energy is required to break down substances, and it is most often released in the form of ‘heat’ when new substances are formed. This is called an ‘exothermic reaction’. In this science experiment we will make an ‘exothermic reaction’ by allowing steel wool to ‘rust’ when reacting with vinegar:

Topics covered

Chemical reaction, Exothermic reaction, Endothermic reaction

What will I need?

  • GLASS JAR
  • VINEGAR
  • STEEL WOOL
  • BOWL
  • SMALL THERMOMETER
  • STOP WATCH

Procedure (Method)

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

How does it work?

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

This science experiment is an example of an exothermic reaction, a type of chemical reaction that releases energy in the form of ‘heat’. When the vinegar reacts with the steel wool in the bowl, a chemical reaction takes place which removes the protective coating on the steel wool, allowing it to rust. During the rusting reaction, iron combines with oxygen in the air, which is an exothermic reaction that releases heat and the temperature reading on the thermometer go up!

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