Several Chapman University chemistry students wowed youngsters visiting the Santa Ana Zoo’s recent celebration of National Chemistry Week with homemade “lemon fizzy soda.” The science demonstration doubled as a tasty lesson in what happens when lemon juice, water, sugar and baking soda are combined.

The bubbly fun was conducted by members of Chapman University’s student affiliate chapter of the American Chemical Society. They explained to the children that the gas given off (the fizz) was carbon dioxide, produced in a chemical reaction between the citric acid in the lemon juice and the sodium bicarbonate base (the baking soda).  They were told the same gas is released every time they open a canned or bottled soft drink.

There were more than 1,000 children participants this year, many more than the estimated 600 in attendance last year, said Daniel E. Wellman, Ph.D., associate professor, Schmid College of Science.