Endothermic Science Projects

Endothermic reactions require energy, meaning they feel very cold to the touch.
••• Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

One of the major topics in early science classes is energy. In this lesson students learn about endothermic and exothermic reactions and are often asked to demonstrate what these terms mean through an experiment. Endothermic means an experiment requires energy to proceed, but students need to demonstrate this principle safely.

Using Citric Acid and Baking Soda

Keep the thermometer in the solution to watch temperature changes.
••• Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

Fill a Styrofoam cup about one-fourth full of citric acid and find the temperature of this initial solution with a thermometer. Stir in a small amount of baking soda and watch as the temperature of the thermometer changes. Add in more baking soda slowly to watch the temperature continue to change. The temperature should become lower and return to room temperature once the reaction is complete.

Melt Ice

Ice is a very simple way to demonstrate endothermic properties.
••• Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images

Hold a piece of ice in your hand and observe how it melts while still feeling cold. Place a new piece of ice in a freezer for an hour and check on it. The ice in your hand melts because your hands are warm and provide thermal energy, but the ice in the freezer does not melt because it is too cold to provide enough thermal energy.


Even household chores such as cooking can be good examples of endothermic processes.
••• Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

Prepare a cake, bread, brownie or muffin recipe as you would normally. Watch as the dough rises once it is in the oven. This is an endothermic process because the food absorbs heat in order to finish its "reaction" -- or baking.

Feel the Cold with Epsom Salt

Epsom salt can be found in most grocery stores and is very helpful in science projects.
••• Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

Fill a cup with lukewarm water and insert a thermometer. Note the temperature. Stir in a tablespoon of Epsom salt and take the temperature again. Watch as the temperature continues to change for a few minutes. Feel the cup as well to see how cold it gets. This is endothermic because the water's heat energy is used to split apart ions in the Epsom salt.

Related Articles

How to Determine a Calorimeter Constant
How to Calculate the Amount of Heat Transferred
Why Does Water Melt Ice?
Does Ice Melt Faster in Water or Soda?
Does Kinetic Energy Increase in a Drink When Ice Melts?
How to Measure Heat of Fusion of Ice
How to Calculate Calorimeter Constant
How to Mix Calcium Chloride and Water
Heat Absorption Properties of Salt
How to Calculate Heat Absorbed by the Solution
How to Calculate the Amount of Heat Released
Activation Energy of the Iodine Clock Reaction
How to Calculate Heat of Sublimation
How Does One Determine Whether a Reaction Is Endothermic...
How to Make a Supersaturated Solution
How to Keep Liquid Hot in a Non-Thermos Container
Thermal Dynamics Experiments for Kids
Substances That Affect the Rate of Melting Ice
How to Make a Coffee-cup Calorimeter