Tag Archives: Mentos Geyser

Geysers Galore – 700 Learning Experiences at NAEYC

IMG_0676The Mentos Geyser made history once again as the star attraction at the NAEYC 2006 Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Over the rumble of the crowd in the exhibit hall, you could hear someone from the Spangler Science booth yell, “GEYSER!” followed by a few screams and cheers of excitement. The “geyser” was actually the eruption of a two-liter bottle of Diet Coke powered by Mentos. As soon as people approached the booth and saw the mountain of soda and the display of Mentos, they knew what could happen… but most people didn’t believe that we would actually launch the geysers from behind the booth. Surprise!

Instead of just launching the Diet Coke just for fun sake, we used each opportunity to deliver a quick science lesson and followed it up by putting one of our Geyser Tube Experiments in each of the teacher’s hands. Out of the 11,000 people reported to be in attendance at the event, we personally handed out 7,000 Geyser Tube Experiments (which included a roll of Mentos). We even had a few guest “geyserists” take center stage in the booth and try their hand at a launch.

This is not the first time these educators had seen or performed our Mentos Geyser which was featured on stage three years ago in Anaheim, California at the 2003 NAEYC Conference. One teacher commented, “We’ve been doing this experiment for the past three years, and it took the rest of the world this long to catch up!”

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Mentos and Soda Mix – An Erupting Business

In addition to being the Business Columnist for the Denver Post, Al Lewis is now a fan of the Mentos and soda mixture. Al called last week with questions about our recent license agreement with with Italian confectioner Perfetti Van Melle, the maker of Mentos. His column entitled Mentos-Soda Mix a Mint for Scientist looks at the business side of the popular Mentos Geyser. He asked lots of questions about things other than my work on the Mentos experiment. He wanted to know about my background, my teaching and my parents.

“Let me get this straight,” I said to Spangler. “Your father was a scientist and a magician. David Copperfield hung out at your house. You are now 39 years old. And getting a pop bottle to squirt 20 feet in the air is the best trick you know?”

“This isn’t the best trick,” he said. “It’s the trick that got the most notoriety.”

Al also wanted to learn how this science experiment turned into a viral marketing sensation with the Mentos video that aired on 9NEWS in September of 2005.

Al asked me if teachers are really doing this experiment and how they’re turning it into a learning experience. Share your Mentos Geyser experiment with Al Lewis on his blog.

Mentos Diet Coke Hoax – Can You Explode by Drinking Diet Coke and Eating Mentos?

There is an urban myth spreading via the Internet that a little boy in Brazil died after eating Mentos and drinking Diet Coke.  The claim is that the Mentos released all of the carbon dioxide from the soda, the boy’s stomach swelled up and he exploded. While it sounds great on paper or as part of a viral e-mail that hit your inbox, nothing could be further from the truth.

Eating Mentos and drinking diet soda might make you burp, but you’re not going to puff up and explode. When you drop Mentos into a bottle of soda, it’s the tiny craters or imperfections on the surface of the Mentos that serves as a meeting place for the bubbles of carbon dioxide gas dissolved in the liquid to collect. Since the Mentos are heavy and rest on the bottom of the bottle, the expanding and escaping bubbles push the liquid out of the bottle, creating the popular soda geyser effect.

If you’ve ever tried to chug a can or a bottle of soda, it probably one took about four seconds before you amazed everyone with your super burp. Your mouth and throat provide plenty of opportunity for the carbon dioxide gas to attach onto some nook or cranny and escape before settling into your stomach. Once the soda hits your stomach, it’s just a matter of seconds for the burp to escape. Couple this with the difficulty of trying to swallow Mentos, allowing the soda and candy to mix, and you’ve got a dud for you imagined to be a dirty trick to play on a friend.

The writers at snopes.com posted a great article on the Mentos and Diet Coke reaction and even reference us as part of the scientific rationale for why the rumor isn’t true.

But this hasn’t stopped a flurry of funny videos surfacing on Youtube. Super Burp has to be one of my favorites…


Spangler Signs Deal with Mentos for New Geyser Tube Toys

We’re excited to announce the partnership between Steve Spangler Science and Mentos – actually the company who owns the Mentos brand Perfetti VanMelle USA. For the past six months, our Mentos mad scientists and a number of our Spangler Science teacher ambassadors from across the country have been working on new contraptions that produce the best geysers you’ve ever seen. Geyser Tube toys and science kits will be released in the next eight months and will be available in toys stores (yes, the big ones) nationwide.

Here’s the official press release…

December 1, 2006
DENVER, COLORADO – Over a million viewers tune in each week to see what cool science experiment Steve Spangler has up his sleeve. He shoots potatoes, makes toilet paper fly and turns two-liter bottles of soda into giant geysers all in the name of getting people of all ages turned onto science. The now famous Mentos and Diet Coke experiment turned into one of the most viral marketing campaigns in the history of the Internet. Just drop an unwrapped roll of Mentos into a freshly opened two-liter bottle of soda and stand back. The pop becomes a geyser of foam guaranteed to make onlookers cheer wildly and run away.

Now it’s a world-wide craze, with people of all ages who are lining up in grocery stores to buy Mentos and pop. Soon you can add “Geyser Tube Toys” to the list of must have items thanks to deal that Spangler recently signed with the makers of the popular mint candy.

Spangler has just signed a licensing agreement with the U.S. branch of Perfetti Van Melle, the maker of Mentos. Through Be Amazing!, Spangler is launching a series of patented devices that take advantage of Mentos and soda reactions. These “Geyser Tube” toys – which will twist, turn, fly, scream, power other devices and trigger chain reactions – will be in stores within the next few months.

“This is the vinegar-and-baking-soda experiment for a new generation,” said Steve Spangler. “Once you do it, you’ll want to do it again and again.” Spangler is the CEO of Steve Spangler Science in Denver, Colorado and Creative Director for Be Amazing!, a Utah-based educational toy manufacturer who licenses more than twenty of Steve Spangler’s creations.

Pete Healy, Vice President of Marketing for Perfetti Van Melle, commented on the interactive aspect of the geyser experiment.

“We’re excited that Steve Spangler Science is using the Mentos Geyser experiment to demonstrate that learning can be fun through his new line of toys from Be Amazing!  Teachers and parents know that interactive learning is powerful—and Steve Spangler has been a leader in this area for years.”

Renée Whitney, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Be Amazing!, believes that the success of Spangler’s products are due to his ability to create “WOW” experiences.

“It’s great to see the evolution of an idea that started with Steve sharing a cool science experiment on television, on his website and at teacher conferences years ago. Now it’s a world-wide phenomenon that has kids excited about a science experiment. With the release of Steve’s new Geyser Tube toys, we’ll be able to create even more WOW! experiences and use the unique line of toys to teach the science behind the excitement of the erupting geysers.”

Spangler has created a number of successful toys and science kits for Be Amazing! who supplies them to specialty toy stores and retail outlets throughout the country. The new line of Geyser Tube toys will debut at the New York Toy Fair in February of 2007. Consumers will be able to purchase the Mentos powered toys in early 2007.

Orchestrated Chaos: A Mentos Tribute to Eepybird.com

I was in Talkeetna, Alaska when I received a call from my television producer. “Have you seen the Mentos video yet?” I asked which one she was referring to and she said, “The one with the two guys and 102 bottles of Diet Coke.” I quietly snuck out of the hotel room with my laptop – I was on a mission to find a wireless connection. Thirty minutes later (after lots of snooping), I was watching the amazing video by Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz. The first time we did the Mentos Diet Coke experiment on 9NEWS in Denver was March of 2002. We featured variations on the Mentos experiment four other times (different ways to drop the candy into the bottle… warm soda vs. cold soda… brand name vs. generic). But the Eepybird.com video was a stroke of genius.

As a tribute to their video, we gathered a few of our instructors and staff from the Hands-on Science Institute and taught viewers how to make their own trigger device. We filled the back of the SUV with 52 bottles, about 300 Mentos, a cordless drill and a pile of pipe clearners.