Learn about acids and irreversible reactions with this short podcast

Produced by FunKids Radio and the RSC, this short snippet uses Kareena and her superhero friend K-Mistry to introduce children to acids and irreversible reactions.

This podcasts can be used as a ’hook’ when introducing the topic to your students, or at the end of a lesson to stimulate discussion about what they have learnt.

If you teach primary science, see the headings below to find out how to use this resource:

Skill development

Children will develop their working scientifically skills by:

  • Drawing conclusions and raising further questions that could be investigated, based on their data and observations.
  • Using appropriate scientific language and ideas to explain, evaluate and communicate their findings.
  • Asking their own questions about scientific phenomena.

Learning outcomes

Children will:

  • Explain that some changes result in the formation of new materials, and that this kind of change is not usually reversible, through investigating the effect of acid on bicarbonate of soda.

Concepts supported

Children will learn:

  • That in the acid-carbonate reaction, the powder disappearing is not like the process of dissolving. Here it has been changed into a new material and cannot be recovered.
  • That acidic substances are all around and that they can affect the human body as well as the environment.

Suggested activity use

This resource provides a great starting point for investigations into chemical reactions with acids, such as the action of different acids on bicarbonate of soda. Children can carry out the activities, making observations, describing what they see in terms of gas being produced, powder disappearing etc.

Children could look at which acids were more effective and which weren’t. Children could also make homemade indicators and investigate different substances to see whether they are acidic or not.

Practical considerations

Please take into account any health and safety considerations when using acid and other weak acids.

A range of substances, both acid and alkali, will need to be provided for students to test. Also you may need homemade pH indicator; red cabbage may be the easiest option.