What a Sweet Blast!

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An explosion in Singapore that lands itself in the Singapore Book of Records! What a sweet deal.

It was a sight to behold on Friday August 6th 2010, as 1,500 students, teachers and parents gathered to successfully create hundreds of fizzy Coke-Mentos explosions and set the first mark in the Singapore Book of Records for the most number of simultaneous Cola and Mentos geysers. The unprecendented event held at Punggol Secondary School was jointly organized by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and the Science Centre Singapore. Here are some pictures that we managed to snap of the exciting event and 2 metre high fizzy geyser!

Associate Professor David Butler from NTU demonstrating the Coke-Mentos eruption to the students. Both Dr Lim Khiang Wee from the A*STAR Graduate Academy and Associate Professor Lim Tit Meng from the Science Centre are clearly amazed by the 2 metre high fizzy geyser!

Enthused students of Punggol Secondary School wait impatiently for their turn to witness their very own Coke-Mentos geyser. All they have to do is drop the string of Mentos mints into the 1 litre bottle of Diet Coke!

Students, teachers and volunteers had such a great time setting the Singapore record! Most participants achieved geysers that were at least a metre high. As for the AsianParent team, we thoroughly enjoyed hosing Coke fountains at each other!

 

 Mdm Lee Eet Fong, Principal of Punggol Secondary School, together with Dr Lim Khiang Wee and Associate Professor Lim Tit Meng displaying the Singapore Book of Record certificates presented to both Punggol Secondary School and the Science Centre.

How this phenomenon occurs…

It is indeed amazing how we could utilize everyday items like Coke and Mentos to create a reaction that is spectacular and awe-inspiring. Have you wondered how this phenomenon occurs? Associate Professor David Butler took some time to explain to us exactly how this reaction that is both physical and chemical takes place.

Scientists have discovered that the explosive reaction that happens when a Mentos is dropped into a bottle of Cola is due to a combination of several effects. If you think the surface of a Mentos is smooth, you could not be further from the truth. The surface of the mint Mentos is covered with microscopic holes, where many tiny carbon dioxide bubbles can form rapidly. Ingredients such as aspartame, gum arabic and gelatin in the Cola and Mentos further enhance the rate of bubble formation. The huge amount of carbon dioxide produced causes the Cola to violently shoot out of the bottle, creating a spectacular geyser.

Students’ Reactions to the event…

We noticed that the students seemed extremely excited to witness 1500 geysers go off at one go. The celebratory fever was heightened as National Day celebrations were held in conjunction with the Coke-Mentos event. Carrie Liu, student of Punggol Secondary School, squealed “ One word to describe it- AWESOME! Everyone bonded as one and did the same thing”. Not only did the students enjoy the activity as a school, they also got to learn why and how the Coke-Mentos reaction occurs. Mdm Lee Eet Fong, Principal of Punggol Secondary School, informed us “ Before the activity, the Science department planned lessons specially designed for the students to explain how the eruption happens”.

We were happy to learn that the students had the opportunity to discover and explore science through such an interesting activity. Not only did we each receive a certificate for having participated in the record-breaking event, we also had an explosive good time!