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Elephant Toothpaste

Elephant Toothpaste

Last week we pivoted in science from a focus through a series of lessons on how engineers solve problems to deeper work on the nature of science and how scientists think and work. Mrs. Swanson took the group through a demonstration that involved catalyzing the breakdown of hydrogen peroxide. The result of the very exciting demonstration was that a huge swath of thick foam poured out of the graduated cylinder, and the timely addition of food coloring made the foam look like large toothpaste, or “Elephant Toothpaste." 

As we carefully observed, Mrs. Swanson mixed hydrogen peroxide with some liquid soap....