# Bubbling Tablets. Objective: Investigate the effects of surface area on reaction rates.

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3 Permissions You are free to copy, distribute, transmit or remix this work as long as you credit the work as specified under cc-attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/) Pre-lab Worksheet - Answer Key Image source: Will breaking antacid tablets into smaller pieces affect their rate of reaction with water? What s your hypothesis? Students provide their thoughts on the main question that this lab aims to answer. They might draw from their own experiences or prior knowledge. What are some experiments we can do to test this hypothesis? What are the predicted outcomes from these experiments? Students should outline their experimental design, listing the controls and variables, properties they plan to observe or measure, etc. Predicted outcomes should be specific observations based on their hypothesis, e.g., more bubbling using the smaller pieces.

4 Lab Worksheet (to be done in groups of 3 or more) - Answer Key Materials 3 graduated cylinders 3 plastic cups At least 3 antacid tablets Timer/stopwatch Experiment, Data Collection, and Analysis: 1. Measure out and pour 40 ml of water into each of the three plastic cups. 2. Remove three antacid tablets from their wrapper. Break one tablet into quarters and another into many small pieces. 3. Drop the whole tablet into the first empty cylinder, all four pieces of the other tablet into the second empty cylinder, and all the small pieces of the remaining tablet into the third empty cylinder. 4. At the same time, pour the water from each cup into each cylinder. Start the timer. 5. Record the reaction heights and the time it takes to stop fizzing in each cylinder. Which fizzes up fastest: the whole tablet, the one you broke into quarters, or the one that was smashed? Students choose a method to display their data, e.g., in tables, graphs, or narrative form. Logistically, it s probably *Using food coloring in the easiest to have each student record the heights and times for water is optional one cylinder. The tablet that was smashed should be the first to reach the peak height and stop fizzing. Optional Extension: They can repeat the experiment to demonstrate the reproducibility of their results from person to person and trial to trial. Perhaps math concepts such as taking the mean, median or mode and standard deviation can be introduced during the data analysis. Discussions of differences in data could include factors such as batch-to-batch variation in concentration of chemicals in each tablet, differences in speed of pouring the water, etc. 6. What do you observe about this reaction? Why do you think the heights and times are different for the different forms of the tablet? Do you notice a trend? Examples of observations include the formation of bubbles (evidence of a chemical reaction) and dissolution of the tablet. Students should identify properties of the whole vs. broken tablets that might have caused the different reaction rates. Ideally, a guided discussion will lead to identifying the surface area as a variable and that more surface area results in a faster reaction. 7. Which properties of this experiment were constants and which were variables? What conclusions can you make from your data? Were there any sources of error? Examples of constants include the mass of a tablet, size of the reaction vessel, temperature, etc. The main variable is surface area, though others include those factors contributing to the differences in collected data (Question 5). Conclusions should use their data analysis to make an argument for or against their hypothesis. Possible sources of

5 error are variations in amount of water measured, timing of pours, concentration of reactants in tablets, etc. Student Worksheet for Further Analysis Using Math Concepts - Answer Key Suggested materials: ruler, calculator and graph paper 1. Draw and shade in the additional, new surface area that is exposed by breaking the tablets in half, in quarters, etc. Whole tablet = (not to scale) 2. Calculate the total surface area for the broken tablets. Whole tablet = surface area of a cylinder = area of the top and bottom circles plus area of the rectangular wall = 2 (π r 2 ) + (2 π r) h Halved tablet = surface area of a cylinder plus new surface area created from breaking tablet in half New surface area = 2 (2r h) = 4rh Total surface area for the halved tablet = 2 (π r 2 ) + (2 π r) h + 4rh Quartered tablet = surface area of a cylinder plus new surface area created from breaking tablet in quarters New surface area = 4 (2r h) = 8rh Total surface area for the quartered tablet = 2 (π r 2 ) + (2 π r) h + 8rh 3. What do you think a graph of surface area vs. height of reaction would look like? What about a graph of surface area vs. time of reaction? Students can extrapolate these graphs based on the data collected during the experiments. The key trends are 1) increasing height of reaction with increasing surface area and 2) decreasing time of reaction with increasing surface area. Examples of possible graphs:

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