Your Safer Source for Science

Since 1977

Address P.O. Box 219 Batavia, IL 60510
Phone 800-452-1261
Fax 866-452-1436

The Two-Cent Colorful Chemical Demonstration Kit

By: Pat Funk, Watkins Memorial H.S., Patalaska, OH

Item #: AP8989

Price: $58.70

In Stock.

The Two-Cent Colorful Demonstration Kit is a demonstration with a surprise ending. Two pennies are dissolved in nitric acid, producing a green solution. The colors span the spectrum from blue to pink. As if that weren't enough, wait for the finale.

See more product details

This item can only be shipped to schools, museums and science centers

Product Details

The demo with a surprise ending! Two copper pennies are dissolved in nitric acid, producing a green solution. As the pennies dissolve, the NO2 gas produced is bubbled through a (blue) basic solution containing universal indicator. As the NO2 gas dissolves in the solution, it reacts with water to form nitric acid. The colors will span the spectrum from blue to pink as the solution becomes more acidic. As if that weren't enough color change, wait until you see the finale! (We won't spoil it.)

Concepts: Acid–base indicators, oxidation–reduction, reactions of metals and acids.
Time Required: 25 minutes
Materials Provided: Nitric acid, universal indicator solution, glass tubing (to make glass elbows), stoppers, plastic tubing.
Note: Pennies are needed, but not provided. Perform this demonstration in a fume hood or well-ventilated lab.


Materials Included in Kit: 
Nitric acid, reagent, 500 mL
Sodium hydroxide solution, 0.1 M, 20 mL
Universal indicator solution, 35 mL
Glass tubing, 5 mm, 6" long, 2
Glass tubing, soft glass, 12"
Plastic tubing, 3/16" i.d., 1/16" wall thickness, 12"
Stoppers, black rubber, 1-hole, size #7
Stoppers, black rubber, 2-hole, size #8

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Developing and using models
Planning and carrying out investigations
Asking questions and defining problems

Disciplinary Core Ideas

MS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
MS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
HS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
HS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions

Crosscutting Concepts

Cause and effect
Structure and function
Stability and change

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-PS1-3: Gather and make sense of information to describe that synthetic materials come from natural resources and impact society.
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-PS1-4: Develop a model to illustrate that the release or absorption of energy from a chemical reaction system depends upon the changes in total bond energy.