Activity

Combustion of a ping pong ball

Summary
Light a ping pong ball on fire, and discuss the chemistry.
Science content
Chemistry: Chemical Changes (2, 7)
Physics: Energy forms, Conservation of Energy (1, 3, 4, 5)
Lessons activity is in
Materials
  • ping pong ball
  • lighter
  • heat proof tray
  • outdoors
Procedure

Light the ping pong ball and watch it burn.

The ping pong ball is fuel for a combustion reaction: it combines with oxygen to release heat and light. Carbon dioxide and water are made, along with an ash.

Once the combustion reaction starts, the heat it generates keeps the reaction going.

Grades taught
Gr 4
Teaching site
ingridscience afterschool