Wednesday, December 19, 2007



Red cabbage
Sugar water
Baking soda
Cups (clear plastic, or paper)
Knife and pan


Should be supervised by an adult due to the chopping with a knife and heating on a stovetop.


1. Chop a few leaves of red cabbage finely and place in pot. Cover with water, bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer until solution is deep blue/purple.
2. Allow cabbage solution to cool. Strain into a jar. After the experiment is over, be sure to save this solution for other experiments. It saves well, covered, in the refrigerator. This is your indicator. If you wish, you may also take strips of white filter paper (such as a coffee filter cut into strips 2-3 inches long) and soak in the juice, and then let dry, to use as indicator strips to experiment with. Still save the juice, however.
3. Explain the term ‘indicator.’ (a substance that indicates if something is acidic or basic.)
4. Mix baking soda with a little water in a cup to make a baking soda/water solution. Label “baking soda”.
5. Pour a small amount of sugar water into another cup and label “sugar water”.
5. Pour a small amount of vinegar into a third cup and dilute with a little water. Label “vinegar”.
6. Ask, “What do you think will happen if we pour our cabbage juice/indicator into these cups?”
7. Add cabbage juice/indicator into each of the 3 cups, recording observations on the chart provided.
8. Discuss acids and bases and how they react with the cabbage juice indicator. Discuss neutral solutions and how they react with the indicator.


Cabbage juice is an indicator that indicates if a substance is acid, base, or neutral. If a substance is an acid, the cabbage juice (or strip) will turn pink or red. If a substance is a base, the cabbage juice will turn green or blue-green. If a substance is neutral, the cabbage juice/indicator will not change color. The vinegar is an acid and will turn pink. The baking soda is a base and will turn green.

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