Wondering what to do with any leftover haul of apples from fall apple picking? This experiment introduces kids to several concepts, namely: oxidation (the apple turning brown); PH levels (a quick overview of acids and bases); and of course the fun of making a hypothesis and testing to see if it was correct!
To start, we needed to cut two apples into wedges. Travis insisted on being my helper for this step. Use a butter knife or other child-safe knife.
We then divided the apple slices among 5 cups.
Now it was time to add our 5 solutions. Fill one cup each with the following:
Baking soda solution
Note: for the baking soda, stir about three spoonfuls of baking soda into water and dissolve first, then pour over the apples.
Travis instantly guessed that the vinegar would stop the apple from browning, and ran to share the news with his dad that we had to wait until morning! I loved that he understood a) that we were doing a scientific experiment and b) came up with his own hypothesis with no prompting.
In the morning, it was time to check on our solutions. We discovered that 4 of them had turned quite brown.
As grown-ups will have guessed, it was the lemon juice that did the trick. Give your child a quick lesson on how the lemon is acidic, and prevents the enzymes in the apple from reacting with the oxygen in the air.
Overall, I found this to be an easy and seasonable way to introduce a few scientific concepts.