Red, White and Blue I Demonstration

Source Institutions

Source Institutions

Add to list Go to activity
In this chemistry demonstration, learners observe a chemical reaction that produces a colorful effect. Learners will be surprised to see the colors change to red, white, and blue when ammonia is added to three beakers with different chemicals. This is a perfect activity to use to demonstrate chemical reactions, especially around the 4th of July. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
Under 5 minutes

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

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • phenolphthalein solution
  • aluminum foil
  • magnesium sulfate heptahydrate or Epsom salt
  • 6M ammonia or household ammonia, colorless (10%)
  • 3-250 mL beakers or 3 clear plastic cups
  • glass stirring rod or plastic drinking straw
  • copper sulfate pentahydrate or Roebic, Root Killer K-77
  • water


  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Reactions
      • Acids and Bases
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access with registration