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Nature's Wonders: Exploring Rainbows

The Cave of Dogs, A CO2 Science Mystery!

Robert Grover
Average rating:5.0Number of reviews:(21)
This one time STEM class explores Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and the properties of gases in some fun and interesting ways as we create, capture, and study CO2 in a quest to solve a mystery that is hundreds of years old.

Class Experience

Concepts Addressed in this Class

The Cave of Dogs experiment is an engaging and fun experience for students as we facilitate a chemical reaction that gives off CO2 that is captured in a balloon enabling us to replicate the mysterious Cave of Dogs scenario.  From the reaction and experiment, students see and experience the following:

* Different types of substances can “react” with one another to create a chemical change in the substances.
* Chemical reactions can cause physical and chemical changes in substances - even creating gas where there was none before.
* Gases have weight, and different gases are heavier or lighter than others.
* CO2 is an invisible and odorless gas.
* CO2 is deadly to animals in concentrated amounts.
* CO2 is heavier than air.
* CO2 is exhaled by human beings.
* CO2 levels in the air around us vary depending on many factors.
* CO2 can be generated through a chemical reaction of baking soda and vinegar.
* A fumarole is a volcanic vent, an opening in the earth’s crust, that emits steam and gases.

Important Terms

* Carbon Dioxide
* Weight
* Volume
* Density
* Chemical Reaction
* Reactant
* Product
* Fumarole

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS
The NGSS is a significant body of work that helps educators identify what and how to teach in order to prepare students properly for understanding science and the concepts and practices associated with it.  This class addresses several important standards & practices in part or full as follows. You can see the complete body of work at

* 5-PS1-1: Develop a model to describe that matter is made of particles too small to be seen.
* 5-PS1-4: Conduct an investigation to determine whether the mixing of two or more substances results in new substances.
* MS-PS1-2: Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.
* NGSS Practice 4:  Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Excerpt: When possible and feasible, students should use digital tools to analyze and interpret data.  Whether analyzing data for the purpose of science or engineering, it is important students present data as evidence to support their conclusion.
Homework Offered
Assessments Offered
Grades Offered
 1 file available upon enrollment
The following materials are required if you want to do the CO2 activities at home after seeing how to do them in class: * Cutouts from a provided worksheet that you print at home. You will use these to simulate and label your cave environment. * Clear cellophane tape. * 3 Tea Candles * Lighter - I recommend a long handled one for safely lighting the candles in the vase. * Blocks such as LEGO or wooden blocks that can be used to place candles at different heights inside the vase. * A rectangular or oval vase to simulate the cave. I found one online at that worked well for about $18. Dimensions are 6.5" x 5.7" x 11.2". You can also simulate the cave in a large jar or other container, you just need room to place the three candles at different heights. * Measuring cups - 1 cup and 1/4 cup * Baking soda * Vinegar * 2 liter plastic bottle * 2 Round 12" Balloons (probably have a few spares just in case) * 1 - yardstick & cloth measuring tape * 3 - binder clips * 4 - paper clips * 1 - pencil or dowel & a heavy book / weight Optional but recommended: databot science sensor device that connects to your smartphone and displays data! It's available at $179.99. When you sign up you will receive a discount coupon code and pricing in your class handout. databot will be used in a number of classes similar to the Cave of Dogs and is a great tool for learning to visualize and study scientific data in fun and engaging ways.
Learners will not need to use any apps or websites beyond the standard Outschool tools.

Meet the teacher

Average rating:5.0Number of reviews:(21)
30 Years in STEM Education!!
Hi, I’m Robert Grover and I’ve been teaching STEM for over 30 years.  I was recruited fresh out of college with degrees in English (writing) and Business Management to help document a new educational program (robots in... 
Group Class


per class
Meets once
50 min

Average rating:5.0Number of reviews:(20)
Completed by 80 learners
Live video meetings
Ages 9-12
3-10 learners per class

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