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ANTacid: Indicator Paper on an Anthill


Source Institutions

    Science Museum of Minnesota

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ANTacid: Indicator Paper on an Anthill

In this activity, learners make acid/base indicator paper, place the indicator paper on an anthill, disturb a bunch of ants, and then observe what happens! Some stinging insects spray formic acid into the air when threatened. This activity is a way learners can see the invisible formic acid spray of the insects with an indicator paper they create from paper towels and boiling red cabbage. The indicator paper can also be used to test acids and bases around the house, like soap or lemonade.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

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

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity

Language:
English

Materials List (per group of students)


  • red cabbage
  • hot plate
  • pot and bowl
  • strainer
  • newspaper
  • scissors
  • paper towel
  • water
  • ant hill!
  • safe liquids that could be acids or bases found around the house

Subjects


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
    • Ecology
      • Human Impact
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Acids and Bases
      • Chemistry of Life

Informal Categories


  • Animals
  • Outdoor Activity
  • Nature and Environment

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, Science Museum of Minnesota, ©1995

Funding Sources:

  • Science Learning Network Resource
  • Unisys
  • National Science Foundation

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