Cabbage Indicator

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In this fun chemistry activity (page 3 of the pdf), learners use cabbage juice to determine the pH of several substances. Designed as a pre- or post-visit lesson in connection to a trip to COSI Science Center in Central Ohio, this activity is also great as a stand-alone experience. Note: This activity requires adult supervision.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Red cabbage
  • Knife
  • Boiling water
  • Filter paper (coffee filters work well)
  • One large glass container
  • Small glass containers
  • Household ammonia
  • Baking soda
  • Washing soda
  • Lemon juice
  • Vinegar
  • pH Scale (included on activity PDF)


  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Reactions
      • Acids and Bases
      • Solutions

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, COSI Columbus, 2009