Science Experiment: Erosion with Chalk and Vinegar

Erosion with Chalk and Vinegar

This activity will talk about three components erosion, caves, and the rock cycle, which are vital to Cave of the Mounds. Our cave is a limestone/solution cave that was created by an acid eroding away or breaking down limestone, a sedimentary rock.  In this activity, you will observe the changes as acid eats away a rock.

You will need: Ziploc bags (1 bag per experiment), Chalk (1 piece per experiment, broken in half), Vinegar (2 cups per experiment)

  1. Each person, pair, or group will need one Ziploc bag, two cups of vinegar, and one piece of chalk, broken in half. 
  2. The first piece of chalk will be put into the Ziploc bag. Inside the bag, break it into tiny pieces. 
  3. Once that is completed, add one cup of vinegar.
  4. Then immediately add the other piece of chalk in its whole state.

Let's Discuss!

How fast does the vinegar erode the chalk? Do you see anything happening between the vinegar and the chalk?

You should notice that the vinegar is eating away the chalk. The whole piece dissolves slower than the broken chalk due to its larger surface area.