Keep the Punch “Fizzing” – A Cool Science Fair Experiment!

Good for students looking for an exciting project, as well as party hosts who want their drinks to last longer.

New Year’s Eve as well as other holidays, weddings, birthdays and proms are the right time for a fizzy punch drink. Introduced in India and enjoyed by British sailors during the 1700’s, the idea was brought back to England and quickly became a social tradition for special events.

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The secret of great punch is effervescence, which describes the foaming or fizzing caused by the gas in the liquid. This effervescence is what makes the bubbles in punch, soda, sparkling wines and beers, and is really carbon dioxide escaping from the beverage. Fizz describes the sound of gas bubbles as they pop when escaping from the drink.

Is this wonderful fizzing quality affected by temperatures which are higher or lower than the usual room temperature? You can do this experiment to find out.


Here are some suggested materials to use for a science fair project. You will need two hot plates or stove burners. Select at least four of your favorite carbonated beverages such as Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper or 7-Up. Then get enough metal bowls for each beverage you are going to test. Each bowl should be the same size. You will also need two thermometers, and a straw.

  • Label each bowl 180 F, 120 F, Control, Cold
  • Pour 1 can of soda into each of the 4 bowls.
  • With a straw, take a small taste of each soda and record your results. You want to rate the carbonation on a scale from 1-10, 10 being very carbonated.
  • Place the 180 F bowl on a hot plate or burner and heat to 180 degrees F. Maintain that temperature throughout the testing.
  • Place the 120 F bowl on a hot plate or burner and heat to 120 degrees F. Maintain that temperature.
  • Place about 15 ice cubes in the Cold bowl.
  • Every 30 minutes taste a small amount of each to determine carbonation. DO NOT burn yourself on the hot soda. Pour a little into a cup and let cool first.
  • Record all your results. You can test the amount of carbonation by filling a test tube with the liquid, placing a deflated balloon over the top and watch to see how much gas is collected in the balloon.

Mort Barish is co-founder of Terimore Institute, Inc. Terimore Institute provides science fair projects for children in grades K-12 to help them successfully compete in science fairs. He has been creating educational materials for children and related graphic communications for almost fifty years. He is the author of seven books and has won numerous awards for his graphic presentations. He was the President and Founder of an award winning Marketing Communications firm for 27 years.

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