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The Acid Rain in a Micro Environment Chemical Demonstration Kit brings the outdoors inside. A micro environment is created in an aquarium following a “rainstorm” simulation. Bring exciting visual imagery to otherwise vague concepts.

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Create a micro environment in an aquarium where sulfur and nitrogen oxides are generated. A simulated “rainstorm” carries the airborne pollutants to the “pond” and “countryside” below. The effects are immediate, obvious and unforgettable. Bring exciting visual imagery to otherwise vague, intangible concepts. Teacher Demonstration Notes included.

Concepts: Environmental chemistry, acid–base indicators, pH, gases, neutralization reactions.
Time Required: 30 minutes
Note: A 15- to 20-gallon aquarium, sand or fine gravel, large disposable roasting pan and aluminum foil are required but not provided; fume hood is strongly recommended.

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Asking questions and defining problems
Developing and using models
Planning and carrying out investigations
Analyzing and interpreting data
Engaging in argument from evidence
Obtaining, evaluation, and communicating information

Disciplinary Core Ideas

MS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
MS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
MS-ESS2.D: Weather and Climate
MS-ESS3.D: Global Climate Change
HS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
HS-LS2.C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience
HS-ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems

Crosscutting Concepts

Cause and effect
Scale, proportion, and quantity
Systems and system models
Stability and change
Energy and matter

Performance Expectations

HS-LS2-3. Construct and revise an explanation based on evidence for the cycling of matter and flow of energy in aerobic and anaerobic conditions.
HS-LS2-6. Evaluate claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
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.
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.
HS-ESS3-1. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
HS-ESS3-5. Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth’s systems.
HS-ESS3-6. Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.