Honors Chemistry Makes Bath Bombs

Honors Chemistry students in Dean of Science Nicole Brite's class delved into the science behind bath bombs, applying concepts of acid-base reactions they have been studying. The process involves a reaction between baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), citric acid, and cornstarch. When combined with water, these ingredients react to form new compounds, including carbon dioxide gas, which creates the effervescent bubbles characteristic of bath bombs.

The lab not only allowed students to witness the real-world application of chemical reactions but also provided an opportunity to explore how changing the amounts of different ingredients affects the fizziness of the bath bombs. By experimenting with various scents and adding dried flowers to their creations, students made each bath bomb unique while understanding the science behind their relaxing effects.

This hands-on experience reinforced their understanding of chemistry and highlighted the practical and creative side of science. Through this lab, students saw how the acid-base reaction between baking soda and citric acid produces carbon dioxide gas, leading to fizzy bubbles when a bath bomb is tossed into water. Additionally, they explored how the amount of cornstarch filler affects the reaction rate or “fizziness” of the bath bomb.
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