Attention: Safety Recall of Vernier Go Direct Charge Station. Click to learn more.



Endothermic and Exothermic Reactions

Experiment #1 from Chemistry with Vernier

Education Level
High School


Many chemical reactions give off energy. Chemical reactions that release energy are called exothermic reactions. Some chemical reactions absorb energy and are called endothermic reactions. You will study one exothermic and one endothermic reaction in this experiment.

In Part I, you will study the reaction between citric acid solution and baking soda. An equation for the reaction is:

{{\text{H}}_{\text{3}}}{{\text{C}}_{\text{6}}}{{\text{H}}_{\text{5}}}{{\text{O}}_{\text{7}}}{\text{(aq) + 3 NaHC}}{{\text{O}}_{\text{3}}}{\text{(s)}} \to {\text{3 C}}{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}}}{\text{(g) + 3 }}{{\text{H}}_{\text{2}}}{\text{O(1) + N}}{{\text{a}}_{\text{3}}}{{\text{C}}_{\text{6}}}{{\text{H}}_{\text{5}}}{{\text{O}}_{\text{7}}}{\text{(aq)}}

In Part II, you will study the reaction between magnesium metal and hydrochloric acid. An equation for this reaction is:

{\text{Mg(s) + 2 HCl(aq)}} \to {{\text{H}}_{\text{2}}}{\text{(g) + MgC}}{{\text{l}}_{\text{2}}}{\text{(aq)}}


In this experiment, you will

  • Study one exothermic and one endothermic reaction.
  • Become familiar with using Logger Pro.
  • Collect and display data on a graph.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following sensors and equipment. Additional equipment may be required.


Teaching to an educational standard? This experiment supports the standards below.

International Baccalaureate (IB)/Physics
3.1 Thermal concepts
International Baccalaureate (IB) 2025/Chemistry
Reactivity 1.1.3—The relative stability of reactants and products determines whether reactions are endothermic or exothermic.

Ready to Experiment?

Ask an Expert

Get answers to your questions about how to teach this experiment with our support team.

Purchase the Lab Book

This experiment is #1 of Chemistry with Vernier. The experiment in the book includes student instructions as well as instructor information for set up, helpful hints, and sample graphs and data.

Learn More