Penny Destroyer

By Laura Hospitál on Jun 03, 2016

This science project was done by Mike, who is a student at Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI).


Which soda will shine a penny more?  


  • Choosing pennies with similar tarnish was necessary prior to starting this experiment.


  • Coke
  • Dr. Pepper
  • Mountain Dew
  • Sprite
  • 4 tarnished pennies 
  • Sharpie  marker
  • 4 plastic cups
  • Measuring cup


  1. Label each of the 4 cups with a Sharpie marker. Assign a cup for each soda.
  2. Measure 100 mL of each soda and pour into respective cups.
  3. Rinse out each measuring cup between sodas.
  4. Drop a penny in each cup.
  5. Every 24 hours for a period of 3 days, observe and record the appearance of the pennies. You may need to take the penny out to look at.(Put them back after observations).
  6. Record any changes in color of the soda according to the following scale:
  • 1- A lot shinier
  • 2- A little shinier
  • 3- No difference
  • 4- Got darker
  1. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for 3 days.


The image is of the 4 soda cups labeled.


Tarnish removal scale:

1.  A lot shinier

2.  A little shinier

3.  No difference

4.  Actually got darker


Removal of Tarnish


 Tarnish Removal  (See scale)   Coke          1   Sprite 2   Dr. Pepper 2   Mountain Dew                                      3                                      


Penny experiment with iPad



My hypothesis was correct.  The Coke shined the pennies most.

NGSS Standards:

  • Plan and conduct an investigation individually and collaboratively to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence, and in the design: decide on types, how much, and accuracy of data needed to produce reliable measurements and consider limitations on the precision of the data (e.g., number of trials, cost, risk, time), and refine the design accordingly. (HS-ESS2-5)

Pinterest collage of penny experiment

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