Some solutions have been mixed up – help the technicians work out which is which

A photo of small bottles and spot plates

Source: © David Paterson

Encourage students to get creative with investigations like this microscale activity

The science technicians have a problem: a class has returned a set of solutions but the labels have been peeled off. Unfortunately, all the solutions are clear and colourless and another class needs them soon. Can you help the technicians work out which solution is which?

This activity offers a microscale approach to the classic ‘Technician in trouble!’ activity. Students are given five solutions – hydrochloric acid of different strengths, sodium hydroxide solution, distilled water and phenolphthalein – and must plan and carry out an investigation in small groups to work out which solution is which using only some dropper bottles and a couple of dropping tiles.

Download the student worksheet as well as the teacher and technician notes to try this creative activity with your classes.

This activity is based on the original Technician in trouble! Which solutions are which? from ‘In Search of Solutions’.