Investigating Phenomena: What Is Elephant Toothpaste?

by carolinastaff
elephant toothpaste

Carolina Phenomenon

Phenomena-driven science! Phenomena are observable, naturally occurring events that are everywhere and spark student questions and investigations. Ask students to observe the DCI-linked phenomenon in the video and complete the attached student sheet prior to remote learning discussions.

Observations: Carefully watch the elephant toothpaste (catalyst impact reaction rate) video. Gather all the evidence you can from the video, and write down everything you observe.

Generate Questions: What evidence is there of a chemical reaction? How did the addition of the white chemical affect the reaction? What causes the bubbles in the foam? Where did the “smoke” in the background come from, and what is it? What energy transformations take place? Was there a temperature change, and if so, what caused it?

Research (include sources):

Final Explanation: Use a written explanation, graphic, or flow chart to present your final explanation for the elephant toothpaste.

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