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Jessi: Ready? Here we go!

[laughs] Squeaks and I were just doing an experiment. We're mixing things up and seeing what happens. We're doing chemistry.

[intro plays]

Squeaks and I were just doing our experiment for fun, but some scientists get to do it all the time. Everything in the world is made of chemicals, which are the different materials that go together to make up all of the stuff around you, everything that you can see, smell, or even taste: the dirt, the air, you and me and Squeaks too is all chemicals. Scientists called chemists study chemicals, what they do, and how they can change. Basically, chemists try to explain why things act the way they do.

There's a whole lot of stuff in the world to explain, like why does water turn to ice when it's cold? How does soap clean our hands? And why did this white stuff get all bubbly when I pour this all over it? Sometimes, when certain chemicals come together, you can see a really cool reaction, the kind of stuff that chemists love to watch.

Do you want to make a chemical reaction for yourself? First, grab a grown up. Then, find a spot where you can make a little mess, maybe in the kitchen. While you're there, you'll need a few other things too, like a bowl, a glass, some baking soda, and some vinegar. The baking soda and vinegar are made up of different chemicals. By themselves, the chemicals don't really change much. Have a look at the baking soda, it's a very fine powder, but it's still a solid. What about the vinegar? Is it a solid? No, it's a liquid.

And both of these things stay that way, unless you mix them together. Let's take a look. First, take one big tablespoon of baking soda, put it in the bowl. Then, measure out six tablespoons of vinegar and put it in the glass. Now, slowly pour the vinegar onto the baking soda. Awesome! When the baking soda and vinegar mix together in a reaction, the tiny parts that make up the chemicals rearrange themselves and they make something new. Those bubbles you see are carbon dioxide, which is a gas, it's the same stuff you see in bubbly drinks. So when the solid and the liquid came together, they made a gas.

Chemists study all kinds of reactions a lot like this one. And since everything is made of chemicals, that means there are reactions going on around us all the time. Chemists know how to control the reactions to get the things that we want and need. Like what?

Well, some chemists study how chemicals work in the human body. That's right, your body is made of chemicals, too. And these kinds of chemists might work to make the perfect medicine to fix a tummy ache or a better shampoo to get your hair clean.

Other chemists look at how chemicals interact in the environment. They may make products that help farmers with their crops or help figure out what's in the soil or water. Some chemists work with non-living things, learning more about things like plastic, paint, glue, and rubber. And then lots of other chemists work with food, drinks packaged food, pet food, baking ingredients. Chemists work with all of these things to make them tasty and safe. All kinds of stuff that you use every day is possible because of chemists.

Being a chemist is super cool. You can learn how and why things happen to all the stuff around you. Not to mention, you get to mix things up, make a mess, and watch some wild and crazy reactions. So do you think you might want to be a chemist? Stay curious about all the stuff around you and pay attention to how it changes.

And you can start right now! Did you try our experiment with baking soda and vinegar? How'd it go? We'd love to hear about it, so get help from a grown up and send us a picture or video of your experiment to kids@thescishow.com and we'll see you next time.

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