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With the Stoichiometry Balloon Races Chemical Demonstration Kit, compare balloon sizes as they are inflated with carbon dioxide from a reaction. Students identify the limiting and excess reactants in the great stoichiometry balloon race.

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If a little is good, more is better, right? Not necessarily! In a chemical reaction, the amount of product that can be obtained depends on the mole ratio of reactants. If the moles of one reactant are limited, it does not matter how much of a second reactant is added, the amount of product will not change. If your students are struggling with the idea of limiting and excess reactants, you need this demonstration. Compare the size of balloons as they are inflated with carbon dioxide from the reaction of varying amounts of sodium bicarbonate with a constant amount of acetic acid. Watch in amazement as your students immediately identify the limiting and excess reactants in the great stoichiometry balloon race. Teacher Demonstration Notes included.

Concepts: Stoichiometry, mole ratio, limiting reactant, excess reactant.
Time Required: 20 minutes
Chemicals Provided: Acetic acid solution, sodium bicarbonate.

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Planning and carrying out investigations
Asking questions and defining problems
Analyzing and interpreting data
Using mathematics and computational thinking

Disciplinary Core Ideas

HS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
HS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions

Crosscutting Concepts

Scale, proportion, and quantity
Cause and effect
Energy and matter

Performance Expectations

HS-PS1-1: Use the periodic table as a model to predict the relative properties of elements based on the patterns of electrons in the outermost energy level of atoms.
HS-PS1-5: Apply scientific principles and evidence to provide an explanation about the effects of changing the temperature or concentration of the reacting particles on the rate at which a reaction occurs.
HS-PS1-7: Use mathematical representations to support the claim that atoms, and therefore mass, are conserved during a chemical reaction.
HS-PS1-2: Construct and revise an explanation for the outcome of a simple chemical reaction based on the outermost electron states of atoms, trends in the periodic table, and knowledge of the patterns of chemical properties.