Open Theme - Kitchen Chemistry

Click to purchase

Little do we realise it, but one of the finest laboratories exists in each and every one of our homes! The kitchen, where your parents prepare your meals – and hopefully you do too – is a live lab with a host of “ingredients” (in chemistry, we call them “chemicals”!) to prepare what your tongue and nose like most. The act of cooking is a marvellous lesson in biology and chemistry, with physical and chemical changes literally happening under your nose, as you convert plant and animal products into something tasty and nutritious. The kitchen is also filled with all kinds of magic ingredients: chemicals that are salts, acids, bases, indicators, and what not!
In this Theme of 3 Open TACtivities, we will delve into this marvellous home-Lab by discovering how turmeric is a lovely acid-base indicator; see how you can make a fire extinguisher with things that you eat; and even use our favourite humble table salt to make a base with the help of a simple AA cell! Materials in the kitchen will never cease to amaze you: each has its use and many are essentially simple chemicals that can be used for a host of experiments!

Age Groups: 8+

TAC CodeTAC NameTAC DescriptionKey Household Material
CC25Acids & Bases – Turmeric IndicatorThere are many wonderful natural acid-base indicators. One such ubiquitous food item in Indian households is turmeric powder. The dazzling yellow of turmeric turns a deep red when exposed to a basic/alkaline substance. However, it remains yellow if the test sample is neutral or acidic. The deep red powder created by exposing turmeric to a basic substance is nothing but vermilion, which is now your natural acid indicator, as it will turn back to yellow (turmeric) when exposed to an acidic solution, but will remain a deep red when exposed to a basic or neutral substance. Enjoy testing various household items, edible and non-edible, for their acidity or alkalinity!Turmeric, Citric Acid, Baking Soda or their household equivalents
CC10Fire Extinguisher ModelFires kill more than a hundred thousand people every year worldwide. The numbers would be far higher were there no fire extinguishers and fire persons to deal with them. How are they extinguished? What can be done to save more lives, if help is not near at hand? Fire requires 3 key ingredients: material to burn, oxygen and an initial temperature high enough to ignite the material. Take any one of these 3 out, and you have yourself a potentially effective fire extinguisher. In this experiment, we produce carbon dioxide using a classic reaction, and use that to douse a candle flame by literally “pouring” it over the flame. Citric Acid, Baking Soda, Straw or their household equivalents
CC08DIY BaseCommercially, sodium hydroxide is made through the electrolysis of brine solution. Here, we do the same, albeit on a much smaller scale, to make your own sodium hydroxide, the quintessential base, with hydrogen and chlorine as by-products.Salt, AA Batteries, Iron Nails , Connecting Wire, Turmeric or their household equivalents