Acids & Bases Project Ideas

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

Acids and bases are corrosive materials on different ends of the pH spectrum. Acids contain more hydrogen ions while bases contain more hydroxide ions. The projects in this asset support student exploration with acids and bases.

Acids and Bases

Although distilled water is considered neutral, most other liquids are considered either an acid or a base. The stronger an acid or base is, the more corrosive and dangerous it is. However, acids and bases can cancel each other out. The following projects support student understanding of acids and bases.

pH Scale

Elementary students will engage in an experiment that helps them explain the pH scale.

Grade level: 3-5

Time: 2-3 days

Guiding Question

  • Which common substances are most acidic and most basic?

Materials:

  • pH strips
  • colored pencils
  • baking soda and water mixture
  • eggs
  • distilled water
  • lemon
  • liquid soap
  • milk
  • tomato

Procedure:

  • After students learn about the pH scale, they will draw a large, color-coded version of the scale on a sheet of drawing paper. Acids, bases, and neutral indicators should be clearly labeled.
  • Using the provided substances (baking soda and water mixture, eggs, distilled water, lemon, liquid soap, milk, tomato), students will hypothesize the order in which each of these materials will fall on the pH scale. Students will write their predictions on the left side of their drawing.
  • The next step is for students to work collaboratively to test each of the substances using pH strips. Data will be recorded on the right side of the pH scale.
  • Students will use their data to draw conclusions about acids and bases that will be written as a reflection paragraph at the bottom of the paper.

Acids and Bases Cartoon

Middle school students will create a cartoon that explains that effect acids and bases have on one another.

Grade level: 6-8

Time: 1-2 days

Guiding Question

  • What happens when acids and bases are combined?

Materials:

  • ammonia
  • beaker
  • distilled water
  • phenolphthalein
  • vinegar
  • colored pencils
  • drawing paper
  • computer/internet

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