Children bubbling with excitement to make soda

Jul. 16, 2014 @ 06:52 AM

Eleven-year-old Kaylee Fitzgerald carefully measured out fruit punch, seltzer water and cola syrup with a small eyedropper. She allowed the liquid to drip carefully into a paper Dixie cup decorated with pink and green owls. Her brother, Riley Miller, 7, mimicked her every move.

“I’m his big sister so of course he’s going to copy everything I do,” Kaylee said with a smile.

She added the finishing touches to her concoction with more seltzer water, lime extract, lemon extract and orange juice. Riley tried his drink first and scrunched up his face with displeasure.

“Kaylee, don’t try that! It tastes like spice,” Riley cried.

Kaylee, however, had mastered the measurements for a perfect new soda.

“That tastes good,” she said after a sip. “It tastes kind of peachy.” She nodded with pride. “I think I have a good one.”

The Caldwell County Public Library's Lenoir branch hosted another scientific activity as part of its Children’s Summer Reading program in the theme of Fizz, Boom, Read. Tuesday’s activity, Fizz, Soda, Pop, allowed elementary school children to create their own sodas with a variety of juices, extracts and seltzer water. Creations that worked were duplicated in red Solo cups and passed around to friends and family members. Erica Lein, youth services assistant, tried the different drinks to guess what ingredients were used.

Even parents and guardians were participating. Tammy Turner, grandmother of Kaydenc Turner, 11, said she knew the secret to making a great soda.

“Stick with the cola (syrup),” Turner said.

Kaydenc, however, was not having much luck. She did not believe she would make a good soda creator.

“I could make people barf,” Kaydenc said.

Angel Alvarez, 10, and her sister Ava, 7, could be the next big thing when it comes to soda. Angel combined cola, apple juice and fruit punch to make “Sweet Tart Soda,” and Ava made “Fizzy Soda” out of orange juice and apple juice. Their secret?

“I tried everything else with seltzer and I tried seltzer by itself, it was disgusting,” Angel said. “So I tried it without seltzer.”

And, it was good.