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Chemical Reactions

Try This at Home: Chameleon Jelly

Illustrated Concepts

Chemical indicators are clues that a chemical reaction has taken place. One example of a chemical indicator is color change.

What You Need

  • 1 small clear plastic container
  • 1 spoon
  • 15 mL (1 tablespoon) grape jelly
  • 100 mL (1/2 cup) warm water
  • 5/8 mL (1/8 teaspoon) baking soda
  • 15 mL (1 tablespoon) vinegar

What To Do

1. Make sure you have an adult with you to supervise this experiment.

2. Put the jelly and water into the container. Stir to dissolve the jelly. What color is the solution?

3. Add the baking soda to the solution and stir. Observe what happens.

4. Add the vinegar to the solution and stir. Observe what happens. It may help to see to hold the solution up to light.

5. How did you know when a chemical reaction took place?

6. Clean up.

What’s Happening

Color change is one way to tell when a chemical reaction occurs. The purple jelly solution undergoes a reaction when you add the baking soda. The evidence of this reaction is the color change and the production of a gas. When vinegar is added, another chemical reaction happens, accompanied by another color change.

Fun Fact

Fireflies glow due to bioluminescence, an exothermic chemical reaction that gives off light but not heat.