T is 7 years old and we are working on the Montessori 6-9 curriculum. I often add in experiments for us just because he is interested in them. The problem is that he thinks the experiment part is fun, he isn't interested in the reading of the instructions, writing and/or illustrating the results, or cleaning up afterwards. When he was smaller I let some of this slide since he has been struggling with writing. This year he has finally started writing at a pace that will allow us to actually write things down as we do them. This was his very first experiment where he did all of the recording of results.
This particular experiment I got from a science kit. I sometimes purchase ready made science kits when I find them cheap because it is a good way to get the "chemicals" (by chemicals I mean safe child friendly chemicals like baking soda, etc) and lab "glassware" (test tubes, beakers, etc but they are always plastic in these kits, although cheaper than buying them separate). I recently was able to buy a nice science kit with real lab glassware so we used that instead this time.
This is the kit we used for the experiment.
The experiment was to determine if common liquids around the house are acids or bases. First we took our holder full of test tubes around the house collecting liquids. Then we went back to our science lab and mixed up the pH indicator solution. The kit comes with a packet of Red Cabbage Juice Powder which is mixed with water. We added a couple of drops of the indicator solution to each test tube using a disposable pipette (which also came with the kit). As we did this, we took note of what color the liquid in the test tube changed to. Pink or red indicated the liquid was an acid, blue or green meant a base, if it was purple the liquid was neutral.
Our pH indicator solution
He found an acid (red)
This one is purple so its neutral
We ended up choosing mostly acids and a couple of neutrals but none of our chosen liquids turned out to be a base. I wanted T to know what it would look like if it were a base so we took out some baking soda (included in the kit) and dissolved it in a little water and then did the test on it.
Base (blue) Baking Soda and Acid (red) Vinegar
As we worked he filled in this page in his lab notebook. First he made the list of what was in each test tube. Then he drew himself with 7 test tubes and numbered them. As we worked he colored in the test tubes on his drawing with the appropriate colored pencil. When he finished the experiment he added the label acid or base next to each liquid on the list. He didn't have enough space on his list to add baking soda so he put it on top and numbered it 8.
Just to make it clear which liquids we worked with I will list them here, I know his spelling and penmanship isn't perfect yet.
1. Soap Neutral
2. Coke Acid
3. Hot Sauce Acid
4. Coffee Acid
5. Milk Neutral
6. Pickle Juice Acid
7. Saliva (yes he insisted on testing his spit) Neutral
8. Baking soda Base