Lemon Explosion! Easy At Home Chemistry

Chemistry is easy to find and identify in things at home, if you know what to look for!

Chemistry is basically just exploring the way things go together, and the way they are made up (atoms and molecules). Today we'll be exploring one of the most FUN and well known chemical reactions - what happens when you put acids and bases together.

As some of you may know, typically at the library we LOVE to make a mess - there's so much to learn and explore by being a bit more free! Today's activity doesn't have to be a big mess, though, but we encourage preparing for a little one.

What You Will Need

  • Lemons

  • Baking soda

  • Food colouring

  • Dish soap

  • Tray or container (to catch the mess)

  • Something to stir with

Tips for Parents

The curriculum connections for this experiment are actually pretty advanced (initially explored in grade 5, and really dug into starting in grade 10). So, our main focus today is going to be on experimenting itself.

It is SO important to ask inquiry based questions! Making predictions about what will happen, asking questions when things happen, and questioning how we can change or adjust things in the future are the best parts of experiments. Today, try to get your child to talk through their thought process as things happen.

Activity and Questions

Check out the pH scale above. Are you surprised by anything?

Look at our ingredients today - Lemons, have a pH of 2, and are very close the the most acidic end of the scale, where baking soda is a 9, pretty close to the most basic or alkaline end of the scale.

What other combinations do you think would cause interesting reactions? (Note: DO NOT TRY any of these combinations without doing some research first, as some reactions can produce dangerous byproducts)

Curriculum Connections

Grade 5: Understanding Matter and Energy - 3.5 describe chemical changes in matter as changes that are irreversible, 3.7 identify indicators of a chemical change

Additional Resources

If you want to know exactly what acids, bases, and the ph scale are all about: https://www.khanacademy.org/science/biology/water-acids-and-bases/acids-bases-and-ph/a/acids-bases-ph-and-bufffers

Please tag us on social media if you take any photos or videos!

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