Endothermic reaction science experiment : Fizzics Education


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Endothermic reaction

Endothermic reaction

Follow FizzicsEd 150 Science Experiments:

You will need:

  • Foam cup
  • Thermometer
  • A quarter cup of vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of bicarbonate soda.


Materials needed for the endothermic reaction experiment showing vinegar, bicarbonate soda, a thermometer, a cup and a spoon
1 Endothermic reaction experiment - pouring vinegar

Pour vinegar into the foam cup and measure its temperature with the thermometer and record this.


Add the bicarbonate soda gradually to avoid overflowing foam and stirring with the thermometer.

3 Endothermic reaction experiment - recording temperature

Record your observations of the temperature changes over time. Does the liquid get hotter or colder?

4 A man holding a blow torch onto a white tile whilst wearing safety glasses

Get the Unit of Work on Heat Energy here!

  • What actually is heat?
  • How does heat move through different materials?
  • How does heat change the properties of materials and more!

Includes cross-curricular teaching ideas, student quizzes, a sample marking rubric, scope & sequences & more

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Why Does This Happen:

Did the temperature increase, decrease, or stay the same? What else did you notice about the reaction? The reaction between vinegar and bicarbonate soda can be written as:

Vinegar + Bicarbonate Soda —> Carbon Dioxide + Water + Sodium Acetate

This is an endothermic reaction, which means the mixture requires and takes heat from its surroundings in order to react. This results in a drop in temperature of the contents of the cup.

As an extension for high school chemistry, you can use this experiment to demonstrate how to calculate the change in enthalpy for a reaction:

ΔH = change in enthalpy (kJ),
c = specific heat capacity of water (4.18 kJ kg-1 °C-1),
m = mass of solution (kg),
ΔT = change in temperature of the solution (°C).
For other bicarbonate soda and vinegar experiments, check out this list in our blog!

Variables to test

More on variables here

  • Does it matter about how much vinegar or bicarbonate you add?
  • if you change the starting temperature, does this affect the change in temperature?

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8 thoughts on “Endothermic reaction

    1. Hi! Depending on which country you’re from, you can find thermometers in chemists/pharmacies/drugstores. No need to spend too much money on these though. Enjoy!

  1. This was very helpful. Thank you
    Are there any other methods to check if a reaction is endothermic? I’m just asking.

    1. Hi there! Glad that this experiment was helpful for you. Generally checking the temperature change is the best way to see if a chemical reaction is endothermic or exothermic. If you would like to know more, there is a great discussion on this on Khan Academy. All the best!

    1. Hi Sam!
      The controlled experiment in this case would be a cup of vinegar without adding the bicarbonate soda. Take a measurement of the temperature of the vinegar throughout.

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