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Science Fun: Acids in Nature

Acids appear in nature all of the time Sometimes you can see the effects that they have immediately and sometimes the effects take much longer to become aware of. Here is a fun experiment where you use a simple piece of chalk and household vinegar.

Project Supplies:

a piece of sidewalk or blackboard chalk
vinegar, white vinegar is best but cider vinegar will work
a glass


Directions:

Vinegar is a weak acid that we use on a regular basis in homemade cleaning solutions, cooking, preserving, etc. The chalk will represent limestone.

1. First, half-fill a small glass with vinegar. You will want to use a glass that you can see through.

2. Next, drop a piece of chalk into the vinegar.

3. Watch what happens and record your observations in your science journal or lab book.



What happens?

The limestone/chalk reacts to the acid in the vinegar. As the limestone breaks down, carbon dioxide is formed as a by-product. How do you know carbon dioxide is being formed? Do you see the bubbles?

Have you ever seen a statue that is pitted or crumbling? What about the condition of an old headstone in a graveyard that has become difficult to read after so many years? Compare what happened to your piece of chalk to what happened to the statue or headstone.

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