Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Chemistry: Acid or Base?

J bought this Chemistry kit with some of his birthday money and he and The Mister have been working through it. So far, we're all pretty impressed. Other than typical household items, the kit has provided everything they needed, there are detailed instructions with photos, and the explanations are easy to understand.

There was a quick demonstration about how protons and electrons work in an atom before they got started.

The book came with a record sheet that The Mister copied, and a few recommended items to use, but otherwise they had the freedom to choose various items to test.

They chose vinegar, baking soda (dissolved in water), tea, lemon juice, lime juice, Sour Pez candy (dissolved in water),  TUMS (dissolved in water), Simple Green household cleaner, water

J used the strips provided with the kit to test each liquid. Surprisingly TUMS are acidic! Weird.

 He compared each test strip with the chart provided and decided which number the strip best matched.

Then he recorded the number on his chart. 

They spent some time discussing what it all meant and why it matters. For instance fresh water fish can't live in salt water and vice verse because the pH varies. Then J kept asking to taste the candy and we told him he could try any of the samples (except for the cleaner!). He actually liked the lemon juice and lime juice, as well as the candy. He decided not to taste the vinegar once he got a wiff of it. It was a nice way to round out the sensory portion of the experiment and he was able to decide that acidic liquids generally taste sour. Fun fun!

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