News & Events

April 12, 2018

Chemical Reactions

Mrs. Musgrove’s and Mr. Francois’ kindergarten classes learned about chemical reactions recently when Karim Hachlaf, Superintendent of New Westminster Schools, made elephant’s toothpaste! He demonstrated the chemical reaction that occurs when yeast is mixed with peroxide.

The result looks as if it could be toothpaste squeezed out of an elephant tube!  The reaction produces a rapid expansion of the foam. As well, this reaction is exothermic, and produces heat! Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) naturally breaks down into water (H2O) and oxygen (O) over time. But you can speed up the process by adding a catalyst (yeast). If the hydrogen peroxide releases a lot of oxygen at once, in the presence of detergent, millions of little bubbles form quickly. The reaction is very fast!

Thank you Karim for helping students learn through experiments and discovery!