DIY Project – Booby Trapping a Bottle of Diet Coke with Mentos

My project topic was pretty simple and straightforward – booby trapping a bottle of Diet Coke with Mentos so that it explodes safely when opened. I’m sure that everybody is familiar with the reaction that Mentos and Diet Coke have when mixed together but, the key difference between doing that and this project is that the Mentos needs to fall in the bottle of Coke after its opened (because the reaction is instantaneous). I’ve had no experience whatsoever with DIY and, this project requires very basic sewing but even that’s difficult for me because I’m not good with my hands when it comes to crafty things. To start out, I took the learning styles quiz, started a Google Doc to take notes, and hunted for tutorials and resources to help me. Next, I gathered the physical resources needed and, prepared the booby trap. I could not present the project in class for obvious reasons but, I’ve attached a link to the bottom that shows the project in action.

The nature of my project is pretty self-explanatory; it’s just a fun prank to play on people. I definitely knew about the reaction that happens when you mix Diet Coke and Mentos together but, when I first picked up the project, I had no clue how I was gonna fit the Mentos on the cap so that it drop down when the cap is opened. Duct tape would obviously not work therefore, I decided to see if a string would do the job and how I would go about doing that. Fortunately, I found a pretty helpful video tutorial which basically explained the whole process of booby trapping a Diet Coke. Another concern was that I had to use a thread and a sewing needle, and I had never tried sewing before in my life. A quick tutorial helped me and honestly, it was pretty intuitive.

As for problems I encountered along the way, I honestly had none. After understanding the basics of the reaction between Coke and Mentos, and, watching a video tutorial on how to booby trap a Coke, I pretty much understood the gist of it. While trying to build the booby trap, I had a hard time getting the thread to go through the sewing needle since I’ve never attempted sewing before in my life. A little persistence solved that. I also had trouble poking the needle through the Mentos since the needle wasn’t particularly strong. A bent needle solved this problem.

Along the way, I referred to a few resources to better understand my project. Although the project was pretty easy, I wanted to understand the fundamentals of how it worked. So, I started at the most basic place to get information on the internet – Wikipedia[1]. From Wikipedia, I was able to learn about the history of Mentos and Coke explosions becoming an internet phenomenon, and the history of this phenomenon. Next up, I decided to track down a source other than Wikiepedia to understand the basic workings of the Coke and Mentos reaction. I landed at a Newscientist article by Hazel Muir on the science behind the Coke and Mentos reaction[2]After having understood the basic science and concept behind this project, I referred to the website of Steve Spangler[3], one of the first people to popularize the Coke and Mentos geyser on TV and make it an internet phenomena. He explains really well how to go about doing the basic Coke and Mentos experiment. Now, it was time to tackle the project and hence, I decided to look for a video tutorial and, I found a very good one on YouTube by GiannyL[4]. This video basically shows how to make a Coke and Mentos booby trap. This was definitely the most helpful resource. Finally, I have zero knowledge of sewing, so, I referred to an Instructable by Besseria on basic sewing by hand [5]. It was a very good slide show tutorial with pictures and text. I think all of my sources (except maybe Wikipedia) are pretty credible. The Newscientist and Steve Spangler articles were created to explain the basics of the Coke and Mentos geyser to people. The YouTube video was created to teach people how to play a prank on other people. The Instructable was created to help people how to sew using text and picture based slides.

The YouTube and Instructables resources were definitely the most helpful. Instructables is a very user friendly site that teaches people how to do things in a very simple, accessible way. The YouTube video basically shows the whole process of making the booby trap. As per my learning styles, I took the test and I think that the results are not very viable. The test had some ambiguous questions which incorporated broad concepts. The test also had too many answers to pick from. Some questions were worded in a way that it made them confusing to correctly answer. The learning styles themselves are very broad and incorporate skills that are widely different than each other in a single category (for example, the Naturalist category grouped together things like having a pet dog and knowing a lot about plants and birds. Yes, I had pet dogs and I’m good with dogs, but I’ve no interest in plants or birds). The only thing that I really took from the test result was that I started a Google Doc document to take notes as I progressed through the project.

In conclusion, my project involved booby trapping a bottle of soda with Mentos so it explodes safely when opened. It involved basic sewing which I had never done before. I leveraged my learning styles by keeping a constantly updated Google Docs notes document. I referred to a few text based resources like an article from Newscientist. I also referred to a video tutorial and a slide show tutorial. The raw materials required for my project were Diet Coke, Mentos, thread, and a sewing needle. Here is my project in action.

Works cited:

  1. “Diet Coke and Mentos Eruption.” Wikepedia. Web. 9 Sept. 2015.
  2. Muir, Hazel. “Science of Mentos-Diet Coke Explosions Explained.” Newscientist. Newscientist, 12 June 2008. Web. 9 Sept. 2015.
  3. Spangler, Steve. “Mentos Diet Coke Geyser.” Steve Spangler Science. Steve Spangler. Web. 10 Sept. 2015.
  4. GiannyL. “How to Build a Mentos and Diet Coke Booby Trap.” YouTube. YouTube, 22 June 2008. Web. 11 Sept. 2015.
  5. Besseria. “Basic Sewing By Hand Tutorial.” Instructables.com. Instructables. Web. 11 Sept. 2015.
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