Chemistry: Acids, Bases and Indicators Module

The Acids, Bases, and Indicators module is designed to educate students about chemistry and stimulate their enthusiasm for the subject. Many students view chemistry as one of the more difficult sciences, and this module is designed to convince them that chemistry is interesting, fun, and stimulating. We begin with a brief introduction to chemistry and matter. This is followed by a discussion of the fundamental properties of acids and bases. We then discuss the use off pH indicators, including litmus paper, phenolphthalein, thymol blue, and paranitrophenol as tools for determining the acid/base characteristics of compounds. The level of the discussion is tailored to the age and background of each class. Demonstrations are performed to reinforce the concepts presented, and to stimulate the students’ curiosity. The students conduct hands-on experiments designed to give them experience in scientific thinking, methodology, and laboratory safety.

Setting up for Chemistry: Acids, Bases & Indicators
PowerPoint and demonstration
Teaching the rainbow
We did it!
Grade Level: 5, 8, and High School

Where Taught: Laboratory (with working sinks and drains)

# Students: Up to 30 students, plus one observer

Time needed for presentation: 50-60 minutes (Ten minutes is needed between sessions to cleanup and prepare for the next session.)

Georgia Performance Standards:

Fifth Grade:
S5P2 Students will explain the difference between a physical change and a chemical change.
c. Investigate the properties of a substance before, during, and after a chemical reaction to find evidence of change.

Eighth Grade:
S8P1 Students will examine the scientific view of the nature of matter.
e. Distinguish between changes in matter as physical (i.e., physical change) or chemical (i.e., development of a gas, formation of precipitate, and change in color).

High School:
SC7. Students will characterize the properties that describe solutions and the nature of acids and bases.
a. Compare, contrast, and evaluate the nature of acids and bases:
· Strong vs. weak acids/bases in terms of percent dissociation
· Hydronium ion concentration
· pH
· Acid-Base neutralization