Acids & Bases

Acids and Bases

There are two videos to choose from to learn about acids and bases.

The first one is better for younger kids, the second one will appeal to older kids. Feel free to watch one, or both!

You will see three other videos that are a deeper dive into acids, bases, and how they act with other materials. Feel free to watch as many of those as you like. Then choose some activities and/or a project. 

High school students or any student who wants to dig deeper, continue your study with one of the advanced learning projects. 

Then scroll to the bottom of the page to test your understanding by taking the quiz.

Take A Deeper Dive!

Acids, Bases, and Salts

Coke Cans in Acid and Base

The Strongest Acids in the World

Activities

Vinegar and Baking Soda Volcano

Vinegar is acidic. Baking Soda is basic. 

What happens when they interact with one another?

What you will need:

  • A place to make a mess. Try your kitchen sink or bathtub.
  • Bowl
  • Glass
  • Tablespoon
  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda or sodium bicarbonate 
  • Download and print this scientific method form from Montgomery Schools to track your experiment. Record your question and hypothesis for the experiment.
  1. Measure 1 Tbsp of baking soda into the bowl
  2. Measure 6 Tbsp of Vinegar into the glass.
  3. Slowly pour the vinegar onto the baking soda. Observe.
  4. Record your observations in the scientific method form.
  5. Upload the form with your recordings to your portfolio.

Test Acids With A Homemade PH Indicator

Red cabbage can be a great natural indicator of PH. Watch the video to see how to make the test. 

Download and print this document from Stanford.edu for written details about the lab. Refer to this red cabbage indicator chart as well. 

Test different liquids to see if they are more basic or acidic. Then fill out the information in the table and questions in the Stanford document. 

Upload the completed document to your portfolio. Include pictures of your experiment if you want.

Experiment: How does acid affect an egg?

Spoiler Alert: The video will give away the effects of the experiment. You may choose to perform the experiment before watching the video if you want the results to be a surprise. 

We want to find out what happens to an egg when it is soaked in vinegar. 

You will need

  • An uncooked egg
  • A cup
  • Vinegar: enough to cover the egg in the cup
  • Corn Syrup

For the experiment,

  1. Download and print this scientific method form from Montgomery Schools to track your experiment. 
  2. Record your question and hypothesis for the experiment.
  3. Soak the egg in the vinegar for 24 hours, observe what happens. 
  4. Leave the egg in the vinegar for another 24 hours. Observe what happens. 
  5. Record the conclusion to your experiment on the scientific method form. 
  6. Now watch the video.
  7. Remember to upload your scientific recordings to your portfolio.

Project

Fizzy Bath Bomb Project

Did you know fizzy bath bombs are a chemical reaction happening? The video explains how it works. 

Download and print this DIY Fizzy Bath Bomb pdf  from BBC Blue Peter for a list of ingredients and instructions.

Gather the ingredients.

Follow the instructions.

Enjoy the full fizzy chemical reaction in the tub. 

Document your experiment using this sheet from Montgomery Schools.

Upload your document to your portfolio. Add photos or other documentation if you feel inclined to do so.

Advanced Project(s)

Choose at least one.

Chemistry Magic: Mystery Pitcher

Perform this chemistry magic trick from Home Science Tools for an audience. Record their reactions and your explanation to upload to your portfolio. 

What you will need:

  • Phenolphthalein solution
  • Sodium carbonate
  • Vinegar
  • 5 glasses and a non-see-through pitcher of water
  • Pipette/Dropper

What You Do:

  1. In the first glass put a little less than 1/8 teaspoon of sodium carbonate, in the second put 6 drops of phenolphthalein solution, and in the third put three droppers-full of vinegar.
  2. Add a few drops of water to the first glass and stir to dissolve the sodium carbonate.
  3. Fill all the glasses with water from the pitcher, then pour all of them back in the pitcher except for the glass with vinegar.
  4. Refill the remaining four glasses – the water will be red!
  5. Now pour all five glasses back in the pitcher. Refill the glasses one last time—the liquid will be colorless again!

Remember to upload your performance and explanation to your portfolio.

Organize a Jet Powered Boat Event

The power of this homemade boat comes from the chemical changes that happen when this acid is mixed with this base.

Follow the directions at this link from The Naked Scientists to make your own. 

Take it up a notch by making a boat that looks less like a bottle and more like a boat. Watch the video for some inspiration.  

Organize an acid/base boat race for your friends or community. 

  1. Make flyers to advertise the event.
  2. Gather to make the boats.
  3. Race them down a stream or other water way. 
  4. Record the event and the results.
  5. Upload your event recordings to your portfolio.

Books

Read Aloud Book(s)

Organic Chemistry for Babies