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Name and Group Members:_______________________________________________________

Household Acids and Bases Lab


Background: When it comes to science, many of us ask ourselves, Why do I have to know this? How is
any of what were learning relevant to me? Well, when it comes to acids and bases, there are examples of
these sorts of substances all throughout our homes. Using a natural indicator from the juice of red
cabbage, you can determine if a substance is acidic, basic, or neutral depending on the color change it
causes when mixed with cabbage juice.
Purpose: Identify common household substances as being acidic, basic, or neutral.
Materials:
Stock solution of red cabbage indicator
Plastic and paper cups
50mL graduated cylinder
Stirrer
Baking soda
Table salt
Detergent
Vinegar
Soda
Juice
Procedure:
Take a moment to first make a prediction of what you think each substance is: acid, neutral, or base
Acquire samples of each substance to be tested as an acidic, basic, or neutral substance
Acquire enough red cabbage indicator to mix with each substance
Testing each substance:
In a test cup provided, measure out 20-30mL of indicator
Add some of the test sample to the indicator, and observe any color change that occurs (Note: It is
possible for certain substances to cause no color change)
Based on the color derived, state what kind of substance you have
Repeat the process for each substance to be tested
Data & Results:
Substance

Prediction: Acid/Neutral/Base?

Cabbage Color Change

Result: Acid/Neutral/Base?

Baking Soda

Student provides prediction

Blue

Base

Table Salt

Student provides prediction

Purple [No change]

Neutral

Detergent

Student provides prediction

Blue

Base

Vinegar

Student provides prediction

Red/Pink

Acid

Soda

Student provides prediction

Red/Pink

Acid

Juice

Student provides prediction

Red/Pink

Acid

Name and Group Members:_______________________________________________________


Conclusion: Please answer the following questions after completing your sample testing
What generalization can you make about the ingestible liquids? (Would you say they tend to be acidic
or basic?)
The liquids were all acidic (1 point)
Were any substances proven to be neutral? Based on our knowledge of how acids and bases react, why
does that make sense?
Salt was neutral. This makes sense because we know that salt is formed when a neutralization
reaction occurs. (1 point)
What has this exploration taught you about acids and bases in your own life?
Personal comments (ie: many foods are acidic, cleaning supplies are basic, simple everyday materials
are acids and bases) (1 point)
Are there other substances youd be interested in testing in the future?
Student shares ideas about future test substances (1 point)
The
following reaction shows the formation of carbonic acid, the component that makes soda fizzy:

H2O(l) + CO2(g) H2CO3(aq)


What does this chemical equation tell us about the strength of carbonic acid?
This equation tells us that carbonic acid is a weak acid (1 point)
What kind of reaction is this? (combustion, single/double displacement, synthesis, decomposition?)
Synthesis (1 point)
The
reaction of water and acetic acid, which is found in vinegar, is represented in the following

reaction:
CH3COOH(aq) + H2O(aq) H3O+(aq) + CH3COO-(aq)
Identify the acid-base pairs in this reaction (acid and its conjugate base, base and its conjugate acid)
CH3COOH (acid) and CH3COO- (conjugate base)
H2O (base) and H3O+ (conjugate acid) (1 point)
Give the name for each substance in the reaction
Acetic Acid, Water, Hydronium, Acetate (1 point)
List the properties we have discussed for acids and bases. (Look back to 14.1 notes.) Do any of the
results from todays exploration help you reinforce some of these characteristics?
Student makes connections between known characteristics and noted observations (ie: Sour things
like vinegar or citrus are acids and turn indicator red, and slippery things like soaps are bases and turn
indicator blue) (2 points); (5 points for characteristics)
Acids

Bases

Aqueous solutions of acids have a sour taste

Aqueous solutions of bases taste bitter

Acids change the color of acid-base indicators red

Bases change the color of acid-base indicators blue

Some acids react with active metals and release H2

Dilute aqueous solutions of bases feel slippery

Acids react with bases to produce salt and water

Bases react with acids to produce salt and water

Acids conduct electric current

Bases conduct electric current

Predictions
(Hypotheses)

3 pts

2 pts

1 pt

Student provides a
prediction for all six
samples to be tested

Student provides
predictions for only four
of the samples

Student provides
predictions for only two
samples

Name and Group Members:_______________________________________________________

Color Change (Data)

Identification (Results)

Lab Execution

3 pts

2 pts

1 pt

Student accurately
records color change
indicated by all six
samples

Student provides
accurate records for
color change exhibited
by only four of the
samples

Student only provides


accurate records for two
of the tested samples

3 pts

2 pts

1 pt

Student correctly
indicates each of the six
samples as being
acidic, neutral, or basic

Student correctly
indicates four of the
samples as being
acidic, neutral, or basic

Student only identifies


two of the samples
correctly as being
acidic, neutral, or basic

5 pts

3 pts

1 pt

Student performs lab


activity in a manner
consistent with safety
protocols and according
to lab procedures

Student required
occasional reminders
regarding appropriate
behavior or safety
precautions.

Student requires
constant reminders with
regard to following lab
procedures or adhering
to lab safety guidelines.
Student does not
respect the lab
environment or the
necessary precautions
that should be taken
when in the lab.