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Learning objects pH: what is pH?

TLF ID L5815

Test solutions to find whether they are acidic, basic or neutral. Arrange them in order of acidity. Measure the pH of solutions using universal indicators and a pH meter. Identify mystery liquids by measuring their pH. For example, identify the liquid in a car battery as an acid. Remember, all acids and bases including the dilute solutions used in this object, can be harmful and should be handled with care. This learning object is one in a series of six objects.

Educational details

Key learning objectives
  • Students use a variety of chemical tests to determine the properties of solutions.
  • Students arrange solutions in order of acidity, based on their properties.
  • Students use the pH scale and universal indicators to distinguish acidic, basic and neutral solutions.
  • Students use the pH scale to measure degree of acidity.
  • Students use pH measurements to identify solutions.
  • Students have the option to learn more about the pH scale itself.
Educational value
  • Illustrates how acids and bases can be distinguished using four different chemical tests.
  • Requires students to interpret test results to rank solutions in order of acidity.
  • Explains the pH scale and how it relates to acidic, basic and neutral solutions.
  • Includes an option to explore the mathematical basis of the pH scale.
  • Challenges students to use pH measurements to identify mystery solutions.
  • Provides visual as well as structured feedback to user input.
Year level

7; 8; 9

Learning area
  • science
  • Science/Science understanding
    • Science/Common substances
    • Science/Data collection
    • Science/Conclusions
    • Science/Chemical reactions
    • Science/Classification
    • Science/Experiments
    • Science/Investigation
    • Science/Observation
    • Science/Simple experiments
    • Science/Scientific techniques
    • Knowledge;
    • Comprehension;
    • Application;
    • Analysis
    Student activity
    • Interactives;
    • Experiment;
    • Analysis
    Learning design
    • Experiential learning;
    • Independent learning;
    • Problem solving;
    • Visual learning

    Other details

    • Publisher
    • Date of contribution: 20 Sep 2013
    • Organisation: Education Services Australia
    • Address: Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
    • URL:
    • Script writer
    • Name: Erica Dale
    • Organisation: Tungaroo Software
    • Address: Manly NSW 2095 Australia
    • Subject matter expert
    • Name: Graham Coghill
    • Address: Marcus Beach QLD 4573 Australia
    • Educational validator
    • Name: Denis Goodrum
    • Organisation: Australian National University
    • Address: Canberra ACT 2600 Australia
    • URL:
    • Technical implementer
    Access profile
    • Device independence
    • Hearing independence
    Learning resource type
    • Interactive Resource
    • Microsoft Internet Explorer - minimum version: 8.0 (MS-Windows) - maximum version: 9.0 (MS-Windows)
    • Firefox - minimum version: (MS-Windows)
    • Safari - minimum version: 5.1 (MacOS)
    Operating systems
    • MacOS - minimum version: 10.6
    • MS-Windows - minimum version: XP - maximum version: 7
    • © Education Services Australia Ltd, 2013, except where indicated under Acknowledgements.