How to Pop a Balloon with an Orange Peel (Phenomenon)

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Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Phenomenon
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

Reviews

Description

This one minute video shows several balloons being popped by an orange peel.  An orange is sliced and then squeezed near a balloon, resulting in the balloon popping.  This is repeated several times. Possible driving questions include:

  • What makes the balloon pop?

  • What evidence do you have to conclude that this is a chemical reaction?  

Students watch the video and either respond to the questions above or generate their own questions after watching the video.

Intended Audience

Educator and learner
Educational Level
  • Middle School
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Free access - The right to view and/or download material without financial, registration, or excessive advertising barriers.

Performance Expectations

MS-PS1-2 Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.

Clarification Statement: Examples of reactions could include burning sugar or steel wool, fat reacting with sodium hydroxide, and mixing zinc with hydrogen chloride.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to analysis of the following properties: density, melting point, boiling point, solubility, flammability, and odor.

This resource was not designed to build towards this performance expectation, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
This video would be helpful to springboard a discussion of evidence of a chemical reaction after introducing reactants and products. Students could meet in groups to generate questions about the video or to analyze whether a chemical reaction has occurred. Students could analyze what they think the reactants and products are of this reaction, such as what in the orange peel causes the balloon to pop and what in the balloon is reacting.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource was not designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Students could be asked to generate questions and gather evidence to support them after watching the video. Questions could be shared as a class after each group generates them.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource was not designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
After the generation of questions students have about this reaction, students could be asked to brainstorm properties of the orange peel and balloon before and after the reaction. Identifying and describing the reactants and products of this reaction is an important distinction to make. Students can do some research to identify the reactants and products of the reaction through researching what balloons are made of, what chemicals are in orange juice, and other such questions. A possible extension of this activity would be to have students experiment with the materials (uninflated and inflated balloons and orange peels) and compare them to the results in the video.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource was not designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
After the initial discussion, students should be asked to provide an explanation of what is causing the balloon to pop. If no one brings up the idea that there is a chemical in the peel causing this reaction, a website such as https://www.chemedx.org/blog/how-does-orange-peel-pop-balloon-chemistry-course can be used as a teacher resource for how this causes the balloon to pop. This link includes an explanation of this reaction as well as links to videos of other demonstrations related to changing variables of the balloon pop via orange peel.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: - none -

  • Instructional Supports: - none -

  • Monitoring Student Progress: - none -

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: - none -