- Grade level: Upper or Lower Elementary
- Subject Area: Science, Language Arts
Students conducting the following experiment will learn
about acids and bases by creating a solution to test for them and by using the
Web to ask questions of scientists and/or to conduct Web-based research. Students
can collaborate with students at other schools either by conducting the
experiment simultaneously over CU-See Me or by exchanging data, information, and
observations over email.
- Students will use the scientific method to collect data.
will gain experience communicating scientific data.
- Students will enhance their writing
abilities by corresponding with an online scientist and sharing data with students at other
Materials and Resources
- Hardware requirements: computer and modem.
- Software requirements: email and/or
CU-See Me, Web browser (preferably Netscape)
- Network/Internet requirements: Access to the
- Chopped red cabbage
- Two glasses
- Baking soda
- Make cabbage water by heating the chopped cabbage and two cups of water in the pot for ten
minutes, until the water is dark purple. Strain the cabbage over the bowl and save the cabbage
water for the experiment.
- Find a scientist who would be willing to field questions from
students about acids and bases, either synchronously over CU-See Me or asynchronously over email.
Consult this site for
suggestions on contacting scientists, or contact a scientist in your area who would be willing to
correspond with students.
- Find a class at another school that would be willing to exchange
data, either synchronously over CU-See Me or asynchronously over email. Consult this site for suggestions on
contacting interested schools, or pair up with a school in the same or a nearby district.
- Add a tablespoon of cabbage water to a glass containing a tablespoon of lemon juice.
- Add a tablespoon of cabbage water to a glass containing a tablespoon of baking soda.
- Record your observations.
- Add cabbage water to other types of foods, such as fruit juice, egg white,
or vinegar. Record these observations. Discuss with students which kinds of foods turn the cabbage
water certain colors. What else do foods that turn the water the same color have in common with
each other? Have they heard of any natural phenomena having to do with acids or bases (ie: acid
- Share data with students from another school over email and/or CU-See Me. Compare types
of food tested and experimental results.
- Pose questions to a scientist about this experiment
over email and/or CU-See Me. Conduct background research about the potential relevance to our lives
of knowing about pH levels. Use the resources below and directed Internet searches.
- Activities/Information on pH
This is the result of a search of the Explorer database. Contains
downloadable ClarisWorks documents on pH activities.
Gopher site providing a little background information on chemical
- You Can & Acid
Another take on the acid indicator activity, this time in the
context of acid rain.
- EcoNet's Acid Rain
General information on acid rain.
LETSNet is © Michigan State University College
of Education and Ameritech