||Demonstrate the effect of acid rain on our environment
||Students will discuss environmental issues such as pollution & acid
|What is it?
||Acids are substances that have a sour taste and strong smell. Lemon
juice and vinegar are common acids. Acid rain is formed when pollution
in the air mixes with the rain and falls to the ground. In this activity,
vinegar will represent acid rain, and an antacid tablet will represent
a marble statue in a city park or a concrete building. Both the antacid
and marble are made of the same chemical: calcium carbonate.
- Masking tape
- 2 antacid tablets (no acid content)
- Marking pen
- 2 droppers or pipettes
- Small paper plate
- Using the pencil, draw a face or picture on the smooth side
of each antacid tablet.
- Place the two antacid tablets on a
paper plate with your drawings facing up. One of the tablets
should be on the right side of
the paper plate, and the other should be on the left.
the masking tape and marking pen, label one cup “water” and
the other “vinegar”.
- Ask your adult partner to
help you pour 1 tablespoon of water into the cup labeled “water” and
1 tablespoon of vinegar into the cup labeled “vinegar”.
- Use the marking pen to label one of the droppers with
a “W” for
water and the other dropper with a “V” for vinegar.
- Using the dropper labeled “W”, carefully
place three drops of water onto one of the antacid tablets.
to the tablet and your drawing.
- Using the dropper labeled “V”,
carefully place three drops of vinegar onto the other tablet.
Watch what happens
tablet and your drawing.
Where’s the Science?
The tablet treated with vinegar is eaten away in much the same way
that acid rain eats away at a marble statue, only faster. The vinegar
is reacting chemically with the calcium carbonate in the antacid
tablet. The calcium carbonate is used up and a gas called carbon
dioxide is formed. Acid rain is more acidic than normal rain and
is caused by pollution in the air.
by Vicki Finkenstadt, Peoria Section
Peoria American Chemical Society