ALBANY -- Children were lined up behind youth services librarian Rachel Collings as she dropped the Mentos into the two-liter bottle of Diet Coke.
Second later, they watched with delight as a spray of foam shot several feet in the air.
They begged Collings to do it again, and this time four boys ran in front, hoping to be under the next explosion of foam.
But nothing happened when Collings dropped the second Mentos in the partially-empty bottle, and there wasn’t another bottle on hand to try a third time.
That was the only disappointing part of the afternoon.
Children ages 5-11 got to learn using interactive experiments, hands-on stations and an explosive demonstration during the Albany-Springfield Library’s “Discover Science” program on Wednesday, July 12.
Around 40 people filled the meeting room of the library, which had several different stations for children and their parents.
There was a snap circuits station, where kids could explore simple circuitry, and there was a crafts station, where they made kaleidoscopes out of mirror paper, paper towel rolls, straws and a little paper disk.
A table was set up on one side of the room where children could spin “tornadoes in a bottle” or enjoy a periodic-table-of-elements Battleship game. The table also had water bottles that showed the differences in the weight of water on the moon and the planets Earth, Mars and Jupiter.
There was also a table toward the back that held a collection of local specimens — such as dried leaves, bugs and a wasp’s nest — that participants could observe through a magnifying glass. Next to it was another station where they enjoyed activities involving optical illusions, cylinder art and color goggles.
An area was cleared in the back of the room for the “Domino Run” and “Slinky Park,” where children built stairs out of giant blocks before sending a slinky down from the top.
But the big draw was the explosive demonstration of Mentos and Diet Coke at the end.
There are three more chances for children ages 5-11 to take part in “Discover Science”.
The South Branch will host the one-hour program at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 15; the Main Branch will host at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, July 25; and the Denham Springs-Walker Branch will host at 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 27.
Registration for the program is required.