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Yuk ... This is Gross!

Making goop

Caution: Do not do this activity at your computer!

Chemical reactions can be really exciting or rather boring. Sometimes when we mix two or more substances, there is a change in color. Other reactions might produce some bubbles. The temperature might go up or down. There might even be an explosion.

In the law of conservation of mass, we learned that matter can not be created or destroyed. It is also true in a chemical reaction.

Try It!

You are going to make a chemical reaction happen. At the same time, you will prove that the weight (or mass) of the two substances is the SAME even after you mix them together.


  • Clear Plastic Cup
  • Whipping Cream
  • Vinegar
  • Spoon
  • Measuring scale



  1. Fill a clear plastic cup about 1/2 full of cream. Observe the cream and record its properties (including its weight).
  2. Pour about 15 ml of vinegar into another cup. Observe the vinegar and record its properties (including its weight). The cream and the vinegar are the reactants in this activity.
  3. Find the combined weight of the reactants by placing the cup of cream and the cup with vinegar on the scale. Record the combined weight.
  4. Pour the vinegar into the cream and stir once or twice with the spoon. Observe the mixture. Describe what you see, feel and smell. (Note: while it is safe to smell cream and vinegar, it is unsafe to smell or inhale some chemicals. Never smell chemicals without permission from an adult.) Is there evidence of new substances being formed? Explain. Record your observations. New substances formed from a chemical reaction are called products.
  5. Find the combined weight of the products by placing both cups on the scale. Record the weight. (Make sure students understand that it is necessary to weigh the empty cup because its weight was included when the vinegar was weighed.)
  6. Compare the combined weight of the reactants to the combined weight of the products. Record what you have learned.

Activity from Utah Teacher's Resource Book


  1. How does the total weight of your new substance compare with the weight of the materials that you used to create it?
  2. How do you think the materials combined to change the properties of the new substance?


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Teachers should view the Teacher Site Map to relate Sci-ber text and the USOE 5th grade science core.

Updated October 24, 2008 by: Glen Westbroek

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