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The Equilibrium in a Syringe Chemical Demonstration Kit shows students how the equilibrium shifts in the syringe as they monitor the pH of the solution comprising seltzer water and an acid–base solution.

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It’s bubbly, it’s colorful—it’s equilibrium in a syringe! Use ordinary seltzer water, an acid–base indicator and a large syringe to transform a common gas solubility phenomenon into an exciting, hands-on demonstration. An acid–base solution is added to the seltzer water, and a portion of the solution is drawn into the syringe. Students note the pH by comparison to the indicator color chart. As the temperature and pressure of the solution in the syringe are varied, the solubility of carbon dioxide gas changes. Students observe the equilibrium shifts in the syringe as they monitor the pH of the solution.

Concepts: Equilibrium, gas solubility, acid–base indicators, LeChâtelier’s principle.
Time Required: 20 minutes
Note: The demonstration requires carbon dioxide. A supplemental procedure for generating carbon dioxide is included.

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Asking questions and defining problems
Planning and carrying out investigations
Analyzing and interpreting data
Constructing explanations and designing solutions
Obtaining, evaluation, and communicating information

Disciplinary Core Ideas

MS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
MS-PS3.A: Definitions of Energy
MS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
HS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
HS-ESS2.D: Weather and Climate

Crosscutting Concepts

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

Performance Expectations

MS-ESS1-3: Analyze and interpret data to determine scale properties of objects in the solar system.
HS-ESS2-1: Develop a model to illustrate how Earth’s internal and surface processes operate at different spatial and temporal scales to form continental and ocean-floor features.