Making Sodium Acetate: Hot Ice

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In this chemistry activity which should only be done under adult supervision (page 10 of the PDF), learners will create an exothermic process by making Sodium Acetate. Students will boil a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to form a solution of Sodium Acetate. Once cooled, this solution will readily crystalize. Although this activity was created as a post-visit for a workshop about chemistry in cooking, it also makes an excellent stand-alone activity.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 1 liter clear vinegar (weak acetic acid)
  • 4 Tablespoons of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
  • Saucepan or large beaker
  • Hotplate
  • Refrigerator
  • Separate container and plastic wrap


  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
      • Thermodynamics and Entropy
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Reactions
      • Acids and Bases
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, COSI Columbus, 2009