Did you see Aliens in the Attic? If so, you probably noticed that scientific concepts were skimming along the surface of the dialogue and underwriting the tactics the kids called upon as they matched wits with the quartet of aliens from Planet Zirkon.
As the aliens' diplomatic guide book gets thrown out the window, gaming systems, cell phones, launchers, anti-gravity devices, static electricity machines, and high-tech joystick controls take center stage. And the Mentos® the kids' grandmother doles out (and which they graciously take and tuck away in their pockets) are put to the ultimate use: a bottle rocket.
Mentos®' bottle rockets are a popular science project and offer a good bit of excitement for younger observers. Unlike baking-soda and vinegar volcanoes, which depend on a chemical reaction, Mentos®' rockets exhibit a physical reaction.
With a bit of tweaking, this simple project can be extended and turned into a truly explosive classroom or backyard experiment. You'll be able to talk about chemical versus physical reactions, surface tension, nucleation sites, and more.
Let the Science Buddies' "Coke® & Mentos® - Nucleation Goes Nuclear!" project idea show you how! (Science Buddies' difficulty level: 2-3)