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Product 12555

By: Sue Anne Berger , Colorado School of Mines, Evergreen, CO

The Acid Rain in a Bag Demonstration Kit for Earth science allows an instructor to perform a safe, microscale simulation of acid rain formation. Students can watch it all take place within a bag on an overhead projector.

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Product Details

Perform a safe, microscale simulation of acid rain formation in a plastic bag. Chemicals react to form a visible brown cloud of nitrogen dioxide which, in turn, acidifies water present in the system. An acid–base indicator shows the speed and degree to which the pH is altered. The results are direct and unmistakable—and it all takes place within a bag on an overhead projector! The procedure is also easily adaptable as a classroom activity.  

Concepts: Environmental chemistry, acid–base indicators.
Time Required: 15 minutes.
Materials Provided: Zipper-lock bag, 12-well reaction plate, copper wire, nitric acid solution, universal indicator solution.
Note: Perform this demonstration in a fume hood or well-ventilated lab.

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Developing and using models
Obtaining, evaluation, and communicating information
Analyzing and interpreting data
Constructing explanations and designing solutions

Disciplinary Core Ideas

MS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
MS-ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems
HS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
HS-ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems

Crosscutting Concepts

Cause and effect
Structure and function
Systems and system models

Performance Expectations

MS-PS1-2: Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.
MS-ESS3-3: Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
HS-PS1-2: Construct and revise an explanation for the outcome of a simple chemical reaction based on the outermost electron states of atoms, trends in the periodic table, and knowledge of the patterns of chemical properties.
MS-ESS3-4: Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and percapita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.