You’ll explore the Three Laws of Motion using a car that Newton never dreamed of, that you build yourself, and that’s fueled by soda-pop and candy. Later on, you’ll power your car with water and air pressure, too… the same laws, different fuels. The key to the soda-power geyser is the Geyser Tube that plunges the candy into the soda pop all at once for a superb burst of foaming fuel every time. Four different nozzles for the Geyser Tube can change the shape and power of the blast of soda, too. When you join the bottle to the car frame, you turn it into a horizontal geyser that spews propulsion onto the track as it speeds the car over the ground. While it’s true that Sir Isaac Newton provided the laws of motion, there’s no reason not to test them to make sure he got it right. You’ll find suggestions for combining plain water and plain air to use as the energy source for your car. The way it’s done is also very simple but the results can be even more eye-popping.
This amazing Geyser Science kit requires the use of a number of bottles of soda to perform the experiments. We don’t want you to be surprised when you receive the kit. You’ll need to run to the store beforehand and purchase some 2-liter bottles of DIET soda so that you can do some of the experiments.
How Does It Work?
There is some serious science going on in this kit in both chemistry and physics but it’s so much fun to do it that you may completely forget that part of the experience. You identify and test variables to determine the best way to create a powerful geyser in a soda bottle and then control it to propel a car you build. You make several controlled tests and collect the data to test ideas that have been used by scientists for hundreds of years. The Laws of Motion may be simple on the surface, but what do they mean? How can you be sure Newton was right? You’ll make a careful analysis of each one and draw your own conclusions. Candy and soda are not the only way to make a geyser car speed down the track. There’s more chemistry and physics than just that at work in this kit.
What Does It Teach?
Science Fair Connections
To develop a science fair project, you need to identify and test variables. A variable is something you change that might alter the results of the experiment. A valid test keeps everything else the same except the single variable being tested. This kit screams, “Science fair!” Here are some examples of variables you could test with the “Testing the Limits With the Geyser Car” activity:
- Which type of soda (diet or regular) is the preferred liquid fuel? Which brand of soda will you be using going forward?
- How does the temperature of the soda change the reaction?
- What number of candies makes the biggest, longest lasting geyser?
- Which nozzle propels the car fastest? furthest?
- What improvements to the car can be made to increase distance? speed?
- What’s the best surface for your test track?