🧪 Science with Sarah: 🐘 Elephant toothpaste!

This at-home experiment is an explosively safe way to understand chemistry

Learn how to make elephant toothpaste at home with Meteorologist Sarah Spivey and her awesome assistant, David Sears!

Hello parents, teachers and students!

Are you looking for something fun to do at home that has a little bit of science behind it?

Well, learn how to make elephant toothpaste at home with Meteorologist Sarah Spivey and her awesome assistant, David Sears!

So why exactly do you think the reaction occurs? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Be sure to check out GMSA@9 on Wednesdays when Meteorologist Sarah Spivey does the demonstrations and explains the science behind it. To view, click on the video player above.

HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED

  • 2 water bottles
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Dish soap (clear dish soap is best!)
  • Dry yeast packets
  • Warm water
  • Food coloring (optional)

DO THE EXPERIMENT

  1. In one of the water bottles, mix 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide with 1/4 cup of dish soap. Mix in your favorite color of food coloring.
  2. In the other water bottle, mix the dry yeast with warm water. NOTE: The water must be warm. If it is too hot or too cold, the yeast will not activate
  3. Wait 5 minutes for the yeast to activate in the warm water
  4. Add the yeast to the water bottle with hydrogen peroxide and dish soap and watch as lots of tiny bubbles explode to the surface!

HOW IT WORKS

This is a great example of chemistry! In this experiment, yeast acts as a catalyst. A catalyst speeds up a chemical reaction. In this case, the yeast helps break down hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. The dish soap captures the oxygen bubbles and makes for a very cool-looking reaction.

Here’s the chemical reaction, if you’re curious: 2H₂O₂(hydrogen peroxide) → 2H₂O(water) + O₂(Oxygen)

SCIENCE WITH SARAH

If you’d like Sarah and David to come to your school and conduct a science experiment live on KSAT, email sciencewithsarah@ksat.com.

Parents and guardians: upload a video of your child performing the activity by clicking here. Send it in and you might see it on GMSA @ 9 a.m.!


About the Author:

Sarah Spivey is a San Antonio native who grew up watching KSAT. She has been a proud member of the KSAT Weather Authority Team since 2017. Sarah is a Clark High School and Texas A&M University graduate. She previously worked at KETN News. When Sarah is not busy forecasting, she enjoys hanging out with her husband and cat, and playing music.