BrondaBailey’s Weblog

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Mentos Powered Car (14)

Science in action!

I’m sure that most of you have seen the totally awesome reaction that Diet Coke undergoes when you drop a couple of the peppermint Mentos in it.  This of course, leads to an awesome new meaning to Mentos’ nickname – the Freshmaker!  I’d seen the videos on the Internet sensation as well as the Mythbusters episode discussing the “cultural phenomenon” that is diet cola and Mentos, but I’d never experienced the sheer thrill that comes from dropping nasty, chewy mints into caffeinated, artificially sweetened beverages.  My friend, Adam, decided it was time to change that.

Mentos Powered Car (3)

Yes, we did buy an old RC car from the D.I. and strap a modified 2 liter bottle to it with bright orange duct tape in an attempt to gain forward momentum. Why do you ask?

You see, a few years back, Adam founded a group, that will someday be famous for our many awesome adventures.  We are Nitro Monkee Adventure Team – and we go off in search of adventure, excitement, and the chance to laugh at each other.  Some of our projects were a success (we made a wicked sledding hill once and then tried to kill ourselves on it by repeatedly throwing ourselves down the hill at the mercy of the tube we were using and gravity Our kite powered cart project did not fare as well.  I think a few basic sketches may still exist somewhere, but the only real progress I saw was that I bought a wheel at an Army surplus store for the front of the cart and Josh bought a kite.  I’m pretty sure that’s most of what happened with that project.

Mentos Powered Car (7)

No action figures were harmed in the making of this picture, don't worry. No really - they weren't for two reasons: 1. Adam removed the G.I. Joe before initiating the carbonation explosion and 2. Adam's car never moved. But it looked pretty darn threatening.

However, this project turned out to be a qualified success.  Only one problem arose from this experiment – we learned that while Diet Coke and Mentos looks pretty darn explosive, the reacting foamy spray isn’t really that strong.  Definitely not strong enough to push a modified RC car or a G.I. Joe vehicle with 2 liters of liquid taped onto to it very far.  I’m proud to say that my vehicle (which I just nicknamed “The Freshmaker” despite that fact that I threw it away a week ago) actually ended up winning the competition (if by winning you mean my car moved a couple of millimeters under it’s own power.)  Adam’s action figure tranport took close second in a crowded field of two while Paco’s car (a Batmobile model from Batman Begins) took home the “Best looking vehicle prize despite the fact that he hadn’t actually hooked any Diet Coke to it and pretty much lovingly held it most of the night.”  Other prize winners: Brenda with the “Most Supportive Wife” award (I came up with the idea of using aquarium sealant for the spout on the top, Brenda figured out how to hold the Mentos out of the diet cola until the time of our choosing using a magnet.)  Chewie garnered many accolades for winning the “I Brought My Dog Instead of a Soda and Candy Fueled Car” award.  Cassie won the “Miss Congeniality” award despite the fact that she’s married (her smile always wins over the judges.)  Isabelle was awarded the “I Put Up with Weirdos” award.  Finally, Luke took top honors in the “Coolest Blanket Based on Cartoon Animals” department.  Despite the fact that none of us are candidates for the next “Engineer of the Year” I had a blast and am already making plans on how to improve my performance with the Freshmaker II.

Mentos Powered Car (8)

The family that attempts to shoot off rocket powered cars together, stays together.

Come back tomorrow for some more cool action shots of the activity. And don’t worry, I’m already working on a streamlined design for “The Freshmaker Dos.”


November 16, 2008 - Posted by | Family News, Flickr Update, Ron's Posts | , ,


  1. I win!!! It’s the braces. They make me look innocent and sweet.

    Comment by Cassie | November 17, 2008 | Reply

  2. Where did you go to have the Diet Coke/Mentos event.

    And what a waste of perfectly good Diet Coke.

    Comment by 5resqmom | November 19, 2008 | Reply

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