Mighty Mix-up – Chemical potential energy

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What you do:

Learn about chemical potential energy! Many chemicals store energy, which can be released when mixed. In this activity, we mix chemicals and observe the change in temperature.

This activity is also a good opportunity to emphasize safety and good scientific technique. Mixing chemicals can create unexpected results, so students should only do so under adult supervision. Calcium chloride can be toxic if ingested, so please review the MSDS before using. Mixing these chemicals can cause splashing so safety goggles are recommended.

What you need:

Lesson plan


  • Thermometer (1 per group)
  • Dixie cup (2 per group)
  • Plastic cup, clear, 8-12 oz (2 per group)
  • Baking soda (1.5 Tbsp per group)
  • Vinegar (1/4 cup per group)
  • Calcium chloride (1 tbsp per group)
  • Water (1/4 cup per group)
  • Plastic bowl (1 per group)
  • Marking pen (1 per class)
  • Tablespoon (1 per class)
  • Quarter cup measure (1 per class)

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