Sand Monsters

In Room 9 we have been learning about catalysts required for some reactions to occur.

Curriculum Links

Science - Nature of Science:

Understanding about Science: appreciate that scientists ask questions about our world that lead to investigations

Participating and Contributing: explore and act on issues and questions that link their science learning to their daily living

English - Speaking, Writing and Presenting

Purposes and audiences: Recognise how to shape texts for a purpose and an audience

We are learning how to think like scientists by observing our experiments and investigations and asking questions such as “I wonder what will happen if…..?”. We are also learning that when conducting investigations we need to have differences (variables). Variable means that a condition can be changed. We also learned that you need to have at least one variable that is the same for each experiment. This will help us determine what changes to the experiment make the experiment work better or worse than other changes.

We have also learned that sometimes scientists need to be patient!

Writing about our science observations, investigations and experiments have taught us that writing is used for many different purposes, not just stories.

Sand Snake

Investigation: Discover how heat and fire changes common items.

Experiment: Explore how we can change some ingredients by heating them.



  • Baking soda

  • Sand

  • lighter Fluid

  • Sugar

  • Grill lighter


  1. Mix 4 tablespoons of sugar with 1 tablespoon of baking soda.

  2. Using the sand, create a mound and then a depression in the center of the sand mound.

  3. Pour some of the isopropyl alcohol into the depression.

  4. Pour the sugar and baking soda mixture into the depression.

  5. Using the grill lighter, ignite the sugar and baking soda mixture and observe.


By heating the ingredients we are able to break the bonds that hold the different ingredients together when we break the bonds the atoms attach to other atoms and create different reactions.

Watch our time frame video here

While we waited for something to happen we pondered on some questions:

  1. What do you think is happening?

  2. If we left the same ingredients would the reaction happen by themselves?

  3. Would a different reaction occur if we changed the amount of each or any ingredients?

First, we had to consider was safety, as we would be using fire. We ensured we covered all considered hazards, children on the deck behind rails, water bottle filled and waiting, the reaction was retained in a metal container and we ensured there were no dangerous items it might cause to ignite.

It took a short about of time for something to start to happen, the flames grew high and out of the depths, we started to see black tentacles growing out of the sand as the catalysts break more bonds the “snake” reaction keeps growing.


sand snake thoughts science


Sand snake room 9 science


Sand snake Patrick Science


sand snake mess science


sand snake crunching science


sand snake casey science


Sand snake Brooke science


sand snake Blake science


Sand snake Alexis Science

What we first noticed if we didn’t include enough fluid, the reaction didn’t grow very well, was harder to see.

Once the catalyst was consumed the new substance was very different from the original ingredients.

We all had a go at breaking/feeling the new substance.

Jack-It came out of the sand.

Cole-that was super cool!  I loved it.

Paige- would it work at the beach.

Kora-It feels warm and crumbly

Tyler- It is hard but not at the same time.

Patrick-It is rough and bubbly looking

sand snake Blake sciecne