BrainStorms: Science with Scottlin – Elephant Toothpaste

Science With Scottlin

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – In this experiment, we will create an exothermic reaction using saccharomyces cerevisiae and H2O2. In other words, we are making Elephant Toothpaste!

Elephant Toothpaste isn’t actually toothpaste, so we could never use this on a real elephant. This is just a frothy reaction that looks like toothpaste leaving the tube.

GRAB YOUR INGREDIENTS: food coloring, 3 tablespoons of warm water, 2 teaspoons of active dry yeast, a plate, a water bottle, 1/2 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide, and dish soap. We are also wearing gloves for extra protection. Most, if not all of these things can be found around the house.

STEP 1: Take the peroxide and pour it into the water bottle. Using a funnel makes this step easier.

STEP 2: Squeeze a little dish soap into the water bottle.

STEP 3: Add in a few drops of food coloring to the water bottle.

NOTE: We will be using blue food coloring since our dish soap is blue, but if you have a different color soap, you can match your food coloring accordingly.

STEP 4: Using a separate cup, add the warm water into the active dry yeast and mix until is has kind of a milky consistency.

STEP 5: Once it is all mixed, pour it into the bottle and watch the reaction happen.

Science behind this experiment:  Hydrogen peroxide is a reactive molecule that readily decomposes into water and oxygen. Yeast catalyzes, or causes the decomposition to begin, which makes the reaction proceed much faster than normal.

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