Nature of Matter Lab Activity: Inflating Balloons

nature of matter worksheet

Nature of Matter Lab Activity

Matter is defined as anything that has mass and takes up space. In this lab, students will explore the nature of matter through a simple neutralization reaction between acetic acid (vinegar) and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) which generates carbon dioxide gas and inflates the balloon. The experiment may be done as a demonstration for the class or as small groups of two or three students.


Students should be reminded of appropriate safety precautions when carrying out lab activities involving acids and bases.

Materials you will need:

  1. Download these worksheets:
  1. balloons - small to medium sized
  2. plastic bottle – empty, any size
  3. 2 x funnel
  4. baking soda
  5. white vinegar

Lab Procedure:

  • Use the funnel to fill the plastic bottle with vinegar to 1/3 capacity.

  • Insert the other funnel to the mouth of the balloon and half fill it with baking soda. Pinch the neck of the balloon so that no baking soda can escape.
  • Stretch the mouth of the balloon over the neck of bottle and ensure it is firm. Note you may need to hold it there if it is too loose.

  • Lift the balloon so that it is vertical and allow the baking soda to fall into the bottle.

  • Observe what happens and record.

The Nature of Matter Activity:

Students record their predictions and results of the lab activity. Once the activity is finished, discuss the lab activity and answer post-lab questions.

We also provided some of the Resources below for you to use in class. iTeachly Members can access all the content for the activity and the following lesson.

Students must come up with a unanimous answer for each question. Discussing the answers usually, results in some excellent dialogue on this topic.

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nature of matter worksheet


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