Shake It Up!

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Learners observe a sealed container holding a clear colorless liquid. They shake the container and the fluid turns blue. When allowed to sit for a few moments, the fluid turns colorless again. Learners can repeat the cycle as many times as they wish. Learners discover that indicators, by changing color, can be used to show that a chemical reaction has taken place. Is this case, oxygen dissolved in the shaken solution reacts with the indicator. Experiment can also be done with other indicators to create other color changes (yellow to green, yellow to red, clear to pink, clear to purple).

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

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

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration, Exhibit


Materials List (per group of students)

  • One 500-ml plastic soft drink bottle with lid
  • Stirring rod
  • One 400-ml beaker
  • KOH (potassium hydroxide), 10 g (keep 100 g on hand)
  • C6H12O6 (dextrose (glucose)), 10 g (keep 100 g on hand)
  • Methylene blue (keep 10 g on hand)
  • 300 ml dH2O (deionized water)
  • other indicators (optional)
  • Resazurin
  • Indigo Carmine


  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Reactions
      • Solutions
    • States of Matter
      • Gases


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



Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation