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STEM Activities

STEM Activity: Make Your Own Sparkling Lemonade

An ice-cold, delicious lemonade is a refreshing drink for a hot summer day. As the weather warms up, have some fun with STEM in the kitchen and make your own tasty beverage with a sparkling twist.

With the fun activity below, explore chemical reactions as you create your own homemade fizzy lemonade!


Materials Needed:

  • Baking soda
  • Cup or glass
  • Cutting board
  • Hot water (3/4 cup)
  • Ice
  • Knife
  • Lemons (1-2)
  • Measuring cups
  • Microwave
  • Spoon
  • Sugar (1-2 tablespoons)


Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. In a small container, mix 3/4 cup of hot water and 1-2 tablespoons of sugar in the measuring cup until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. With adult supervision, cut your lemons in half using a knife on your cutting board.
  3. Squeeze the lemons into your cup or glass, removing any seeds.
  4. Add your hot water and sugar mixture to the cup of lemon juice and stir.
  5. Making sure it’s cool enough, take a sip of the lemonade. What do you notice?
  6. Add one teaspoon of baking soda to your cup of lemonade and observe what happens.
  7. Add ice before enjoying the rest of your fizzy lemonade drink, and consider making more for your family or friends!


What Are We Discovering?

By adding baking soda to your lemonade, you create a chemical reaction. The baking soda reacts with the acidic lemon juice, releasing carbon dioxide, or CO2. The addition of CO2 to a beverage is known as carbonation, which is what makes many drinks, like soda, fizzy and bubbly.

Carbon dioxide can be used for more than just creating tasty drink bubbles! National Inventors Hall of Fame® Inductee C. Kumar N. Patel invented the carbon dioxide laser, which can cut various materials like metal, ceramics and plastic. CO2 lasers are also very popular for skin resurfacing and dermabrasion treatments for scars and other skin conditions.


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