Test for Acids or Bases Using...Flowers!
Many plants in nature work like litmus paper, changing color in the presence of acids or bases. Called acid-base indicators, these plants are usually mildly acidic or alkaline themselves, and they change color when mixed with a substance that has an opposite ph.
Conduct a simple science experiment using an acid (vinegar) and a base (baking soda) to see if flowers from your garden pass the acid-base indicator test. It's chemistry, but it looks like magic!
What You Need:
- 3 or more different kinds of red, pink, orange, blue, or purple flowers (you can buy these or gather them outside on a nice day, but make sure you have permission to take them!)
- White vinegar
- 3 or more spoons (you'll need one spoon per kind of flower)
- 5 or more clear plastic cups
- Baking soda
- Permanent marker
- Safety goggles (optional: this activity is safe, but many chemistry teachers recommend getting into the habit of wearing protective goggles any time you're working with chemicals)