Patrick Henry High School | Students Learn Airbag Stoichiometry

Four students standing by a table doing an experiment.Patrick Henry chemistry students simulated car airbag deployment using bakingsoda and vinegar in Ziploc bags. Mrs. Woosley’s students had to determine the ratio of baking soda to vinegar that would yield the maximum amount of carbon dioxide gas without popping the bag.

Students also had to develop a methodology to complete this task. If the bag popped, they had to start over. Once the experiments were complete, students had to evaluate potential error and determine percent yield. They then took their results and applied the concept to real airbag chemistry, sodium azide decomposition and the single replacement reaction of sodium with iron(III) oxide. It was a fun lesson in stoichiometry and real world chemistry.

Contact Person: 
Cindy Woosley