Seventh-graders – who have been studying about acids and bases and the pH levels of different common solutions in Lauren Zeoli’s science classes – recently completed a lab experiment to further test their knowledge.

Equipped with pH paper, which is used as an indicator to test the acidity of water-based liquids, the students worked in groups to determine the specific pH levels of different solutions. After comparing their findings to a colored chart, they determined whether their solutions were acids or bases.

“By observing the changing pH paper and comparing it to a colored chart, they were able to develop clear results and conclusions,” Zeoli said. “It is important for them to use evidence to support their claims. This lab was also important in helping them make connections between concepts learned in class and substances that they see on a regular basis.”

After identifying the different solutions, the students were challenged to mix some of the solutions and observe the pH of a neutralization reaction. The hands-on learning experience allowed them to take control of their own learning, collaborate with their peers and make discoveries on their own. As a result, the students made conclusions based on evidence and reasoning, which are skills they will utilize throughout the rest of their science studies. 

“The lab helped students make connections amongst the concepts of pH, acids and bases, ions and neutralization,” Zeoli said. “They were also able to have a little fun with this and keep engaged while still reinforcing important concepts.”

Throughout the next unit, the students will study atoms and ions in depth.