Carnegie STEM Girls: Exploding Foam

Your Challenge: See how an exothermic reaction can make exploding foam!


Plastic Soda Bottle (16 oz.) or glass flask

1/2 C. 20-volume hydrogen peroxide

1T. dry yeast

3 T. warm water

Dish Soap

Food Coloring

Small Cup

Safety Goggles


Adult Supervision


Here’s How:

  1. Put on safety goggles!
  2. Carefully pour the hydrogen peroxide into the plastic soda bottle.
  3. Add 10 drops of food coloring to the plastic soda bottle.
  4. Add 1 T. of dish soap to the plastic soda bottle, and swirl the bottle around to mix everything up.
  5. In a separate cup, stir the warm water and the packet of dry yeast together. Mix for approximately 30 seconds. (The yeast might clump up, try your best to stir it. It will still work if it’s clumpy.)
  6. Use the funnel to pour the water/yeast mixture into the plastic soda bottle. Quickly remove the funnel and observe.


Take It Further:

Does the size and shape of the plastic bottle affect the foam explosion? Try a smaller bottle! What happens if you alter the ingredients? Try using 2 T. of dish soap! Does the amount of yeast change the amount of foam produced?



How It Works:

During this experiment, the yeast acted as a catalyst to remove oxygen from the hydrogen peroxide. This process was done very fast, causing a lot of bubbles to be formed. The bottle became warm throughout this process creating an exothermic reaction! It not only created foam, but also heat! The foam produced is water, soap, and oxygen. It is safe to clean up with a sponge and pour any extra down the drain.



Related Careers:

Chemical EngineerChemistResearcher

Science Topics
Chemistry, Food Science, Heat
Middle School, High School
8th Grade, 9th Grade, 10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade

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