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Finding Colors

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Finding Colors

In this chemistry challenge, learners combine acids and bases in a universal indicator to create five different colors. Using vinegar, washing soda, and Bogen universal indicator, the goal is to find combinations that create red, orange, yellow, green, and blue solutions. Background information explains a little about how acids and bases interact to affect the pH of a solution, and how the indicator changes color based on the pH. Safety notes are included.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
Over $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 5 24-well plates
  • 5 plastic dropping bottles containing vinegar
  • 5 plastic dropping bottles containing washing soda solution
  • 5 plastic dropping bottles containing a few ml Bogen universal indicator
  • A water wash bottle to rinse well plates
  • Paper towels for spills
  • A container of clean water
  • A safe container to dump solutions into and seal (waste container)


  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Reactions
      • Acids and Bases
      • Solutions
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All Rights Reserved, Sciencenter,

Funding Sources:

  • Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, Inc.
  • American Chemical Society


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