Open Cola for Science Experiments

Open Cola

I saw a post on BoingBoing about the Open Cola project. To me it looks like the perfect combination of a science project and a way to delve into some health topics related to soft drinks. It’s probably a high school level project as some of the ingredients can burn skin (which is kind of odd).

You end up with

  • a real world product that kids would be excited to make
  • the option to experiment with different concentrations of flavor
  • a way to start talking about how much sugar is in the cokes they’re drinking
  • you could also do some taste testing based on the experiments in different concentrations and then you’ve got some statistics to go over

Comments on this post

  1. Ben said on May 29, 2007 at 12:42 pm

    Wow, great concept for applying what’s going on in information creation and copyrighting to other aspects of the real world. I’m always a sucker for a “real world” type scenario that has a product at the end, however, I can’t help wonder, when the first child’s throat is horribly burned and scarred by Open Cola, who gets blamed? Everyone involved on the project?

  2. Tom said on May 29, 2007 at 1:09 pm


    That’s a good point although I’m not sure you’d be able to make it caustic when diluted in the carbonated water unless you went overboard to an extent that was physically obvious (I would not drink a tar like substance but that’s not to say common sense applies to all). I’m not positive but I think the reason they’d burn earlier was because they were in such concentrated form.

    This might be a better question for a chemist. It might even be something you could work into the project.


  3. Esteban said on March 23, 2012 at 10:02 am

    I think the interesting question here is why is it that we trust a corporate product more than ourselves?
    is it because of our lack of experience?
    but we also all know that many of the foods we like are killing us (e.g aspartame in diet drinks, msg in chips, HFC everywhere)

    here we finally have full control over the creation process, and yes there might be a lot of trial and error, but i think in the end we have better judgement about what we make for our kids than a faceless corporation who doesn’t even know our names.

    • Ben said on March 23, 2012 at 1:16 pm

      There’s no question over who I would trust more, as people trump corporation. I wasn’t look at this from a point of trust though, I was looking at it (if I can remember 5 years ago correctly) from the point of view of the litigious consumer. If it’s a crowd-sourced product, and not one created by a corporation which has clear legal ramifications for it’s products, how would you handle something like this?

      I’m terribly fascinated by how people would respond to something made by a group effort, but has no single authoritative voice supporting it.