Can Acids And Bases Remedy The Body?
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Bev Tatum Beethoven Elementary
25 West 47t St.#432
Chicago IL 60609
This lesson can be adapted for grades (2-7) and can be extended over three (3)
or four (4) class periods. Students will be able to:
1. Determine how an understanding of acids and bases relates to their
2. Determine the effectiveness of various antacids or home remedies on an
3. Determine why some analgesics cause additional stomach upset and are
not recommended when only pain persists.
4. Evaluate the cost effectiveness of one form (or brand) of
antacid/analgesic over another.
Students will work in groups of four (4) or five (5).
vinegar Pepto Bismo (tabs) Bayer (Pain)
pH indicator paper Maalox (tabs) Riopan (liquid)
paper towels Alka Seltzer Maalox (liquid)
water Tums (tabs) Pepto Bismo (liquid)
eye dropper Generic (tabs) Generic (liquid)
plastic chem trays Rolaids (tabs) 5 oz. cups
toothpicks Bayer Aspirin pH indicator scale/
spoons Generic Aspirin per group
lemon juice flour milk
ginger ale baking soda
A human stomach can become too acidic or too basic and will result in
becoming upset. Since the stomach level is normal at a pH of 7 (similar
to water pH), make an "upset stomach" with a mixture of 1 part vinegar to
8 parts water. 8 oz. of any mixture mentioned is enough for 4 groups. Cut
indicator paper into 1/4" to 1/2" pieces instead of using the whole 2"
pieces provided in the kit.
Activity 1: Tests the effects of each antacid tablet/water mixture upon
the "upset stomach. Use 2 tab. per 8 oz. of water for 6 different tests.
First, place 10 drops of "upset stomach" in the well on the chem tray and
then add 5 drops of a mixture (i.e.TUMS). The students should test and
record the pH level of the TUMS before adding it to the "upset stomach".
Activity 2: Students will test liquid antacids upon the upset stomach.
Activity 3: Students will test the effects of analgesics upon a "normal"
stomach. Remember just use plain water here as the stomach (pH 7).
Activity 4: Students will test unlabeled home remedy mixtures
i.e. flour/water, lemon/water, milk, baking soda/water, and ginger ale.
After each group of tests, discuss with students their results.
Activity 5: Provide the children with the costs of a dosage of each
tests (TUMS-$.37/tab) and let them evaluate the cost effectiveness.
SAFETY TIP: REMEMBER TO TELL STUDENTS IF AN UPSET STOMACH IS REALLY
PAINFUL A DOCTOR IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Note: Teacher will need to create his/her own data sheet for recording