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The Acid–Base Rainbow Fountain Chemical Demonstration Kit is versatile and can be used to teach acid–base chemistry and gas laws. Quench your students’ thirst for knowledge with a fountain of surprises in this guided-inquiry demonstration.

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Quench your students’ thirst for knowledge with a fountain of surprises in this guided-inquiry demonstration. The fountain appears to require no energy to run—defying the laws of nature. Marvel as Hero of Alexandria did 1900 years ago when he used air pressure changes and compressed air to lift water. As the solutions flow and mix, a beautiful rainbow of colors emerges. Varying acid and base concentrations change pH levels to create new color patterns each time! Use this versatile demonstration multiple times when teaching acid–base chemistry and gas laws. Detailed instructions include student questions and answers for the teacher.

Concepts: Air pressure and vacuum, pH, indicators, neutralization.
Time Required: 15 minutes


Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Asking questions and defining problems
Developing and using models
Constructing explanations and designing solutions
Engaging in argument from evidence

Disciplinary Core Ideas

MS-PS2.A: Forces and Motion
MS-PS2.B: Types of Interactions
MS-PS3.C: Relationship between Energy and Forces
HS-PS2.A: Forces and Motion
HS-PS2.B: Types of Interactions
HS-PS3.C: Relationship between Energy and Forces

Crosscutting Concepts

Cause and effect
Systems and system models
Energy and matter
Structure and function

Performance Expectations

MS-PS2-2. Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object
MS-PS3-2. Develop a model to describe that when the arrangement of objects interacting at a distance changes, different amounts of potential energy are stored in the system.
MS-PS3-5. Construct, use, and present arguments to support the claim that when the kinetic energy of an object changes, energy is transferred to or from the object.
HS-PS3-1. Create a computational model to calculate the change in the energy of one component in a system when the change in energy of the other component(s) and energy flows in and out of the system are known.
HS-PS3-2. Develop and use models to illustrate that energy at the macroscopic scale can be accounted for as a combination of energy associated with the motion of particles (objects) and energy associated with the relative position of particles (objects).