Sunday, November 7, 2010

science explorations

My kids have been asking for some "real" science lately, so we decided to get together with homeschooling friends on Friday afternoons to do some science explorations. The idea is for us adults to pick hands-on discovery type activities for the kids to "mess around with" as they like. So this week, we used cabbage juice as an indicator to discover which substances were acids and which were bases. Neutral items kept the cabbage juice it's original purple, but the more acidic a substance, the redder the juice became, and the more basic, the bluer (very basic substances turned it green). The kids were all really into this, and so were we Moms -- we started ransacking the host house to see what else we could test! We also mixed acides and bases to return the solution to the nuetral purple color. This all brought up some thoughtful questions from the kids, about what acids and bases actually do. So I think I can feel some corrosion experiments in our future....

2 comments:

Ashley and Nathan said...

Sounds like something we did in college chemistry ;) Only we used 'real' chemicals :)

Karen said...

This also comes in handy if you use natural food colorings. The reddish purple uses the same plant pigment, though IIRC, it's from beet juice. Our frosting came out a much bluer color than we wanted, so we made it lemon flavored frosting to change the color back to the magenta we wanted. :) Tumeric also has pH sensitive pigment.

You can make your own indicator paper using filter paper and the cabbage juice. This might be handy for field experiments on waterways.