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Can Acid and Bases Remedy the Body?

Students will learn how acids affect bases by performing experiments using probeware. This lab was modified from a published activity by Bev Tatum.


  • Determine how an understanding of acids and bases relates to the health of a living organism system
  • Determine the effectiveness of various antacids or home remedies on an acidic stomach
  • Determine why some analgesics cause additional stomach upset and are not recommended when pain persists
  • Evaluate the cost effectiveness of one form (or brand) of antacid/analgesic over another


  • Prepare a "sick" stomach by mixing 1part vinegar to 7 parts of distilled water. 240ml of the mixture is enough for each of 4 groups.
  • Test the effects of each antacid tablet/water mixture on the stomach solution. Use 2 tablets per 240 ml of water for 6 different tests. Have students use the computer interfaced probeware to record the actual ph levels of the stomach, treatment solutions and post-treated stomach. Record data in a table of their creation. Results will automatically load onto DataStudio for graphing.
  • Use the graphing option in DataStudio to compare and analyze the data across groups.
  • Students will complete the same tests using the liquid antacids on the stomach solution.
  • Use the graphing option in DataStudio to compare results across groups. Compare the liquid results to those of the tablets.
  • Students will test the effects of analgesics upon a "normal" stomach. Use plain distilled water for the normal stomach.
  • Use DataStudio to compare results across groups.
  • Students will test unlabeled home remedy mixtures (i.e. lemon juice/water, ginger ale, milk, baking soda/water, and flour/water).
  • Use DataStudio to compare results across groups.

Sunshine State Standards

  • SC.A.1.3.5
  • SC.H.3.3.7
  • MA.6.A.2.2

NETS Profiles for Technology Literate Students

  • Use content-specific tools, software, and simulations (e.g., environmental probes, graphing calculators, exploratory environments, Web tools) to support learning and research.
  • Select and use appropriate tools and technology resources to accomplish a variety of tasks and solve problems.


  • Vinegar
  • Distilled Water
  • Beakers (250 ml)
  • Fleaker (1000ml)
  • Stirring rods
  • Mortar/pestle
  • Pasco Ph Probe
  • Pasco Explorer
  • Computer
  • Pepto Bismol (tabs)
  • Maalox (tabs)
  • Alka Selter
  • Tums (tabs)
  • Generic (tabs)
  • Rolaids (tabs)
  • Bayer Aspirin
  • Lemon Juice
  • Baking Soda
  • Bayer (tabs)
  • Riopan (lq)
  • Maalox (lq)
  • Pepto Bismol (lq)
  • Generic (lq)
  • Generic Aspirin
  • Milk
  • Ginger Ale


Encourage students to brainstorm other analysis on products. Possible discussions could lead to comparing the amount of time each product takes to neutralize the stomach, conduction repeated trials to test the validity of the initial tests, comparing the number of doses required to achieve neutrality per product; comparison of cost per dosage based on success rates.

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   ETC > NSA Home > Mathematics 6-8 > Can Acid and Bases Remedy the Body?