We love delving into science experiments throughout the year. With fall fast approaching, it seemed like a great idea to try out some apple science!
Apple Science Experiment
What you need:
- Small containers
- Lemon juice
- Tonic water
- Apple Science Experiment Recording Sheet (optional)
This science experiment focused on how different liquids affect apples. My son and I used liquids we already had on hand, but I’m sure other liquids would work well, too.
Setting Up the Experiment
To set up the experiment, we set out five containers with a few apple pieces in each one. We labeled the five containers with the name of the liquids we were going to use.
Once everything was set up, we poured the appropriate liquids into each cup. We also set up a “control” cup of apple pieces without any liquid. Then it was time to wait and see the chemical reaction.
After a few hours, we checked on our apples and talked about our observations. Record observations on the Recording Sheet if you choose*.
The control apples had started to oxidize, as had the apples in soda. The apples in the vinegar had little brown spots, too. The apples in the water looked like they had oxidized a tiny bit in comparison to their original state, but not much.
(Oxidizing happens when the apples come in contact with the oxygen in the air and begin to react, turning brown.)
In the lemon juice and the tonic water, though, we found apples that hadn’t oxidized. This observation led my son to doing some research about these two liquids. Lemon juice contains ascorbic acid, while tonic water contains citric acid – both of which are known to prevent oxidation in apples.
There is an enzyme in the apples, that when exposed to oxygen, turns the apple brown. Lemon juice, for example, keeps the apples from browning, because it slows down this enzyme. Keeping the apples submerged regardless, will help to cut off the oxygen supply to the apples.
Your little one might notice that all the apples in a liquid, turned less brown, than the control.
My son and I did this experiment together over the summer. He likes to help me “test” activities before I try them in my classroom. This activity would be perfect during center time, when I can engage with small groups.
Early Learning Concepts
This simple, fun apple science experiment touches on many early learning concepts. Below are a few:
- Counting – counting the apple pieces that go into each bowl
- Writing – children can help label each container
- Scientific process – ask a question, experiment, observe, and record
- Vocabulary – use different words to describe observations
BIO: Mary Catherine is mama to one and preschool teacher to many. She has over ten years’ experience in early childhood education, teaching kindergarten and pre-k. Mary Catherine writes about meaningful early learning at Fun-A-Day. You can also find her on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. Be sure to pop over to her apple-themed activities and her apple Pinterest board for more ideas.
*The Apple Science Experiment Record Sheet is also available as a free printable on Fun-A-Day.
More Apple Themed Activities
Apple Print Number Line (Pre-K Pages)
Read the book Ten Apples Up on Top and create a life-size number line with apple prints.
Apple Hedgehogs: Fine Motor Activity (Pre-K Pages)
Use apple halves and toothpicks to create hedgehogs and develop fine motor skills.
Apple Counting Book (Pre-K Pages)
Make and count seeds on the numbered apples in this free printable book.
Apple Tree Alphabet Game (Pre-K Pages)
Identify letters on the tree and cover them with “apples” (pompoms); use a clothespin or tweezers to add fine motor practice.
Handprint and Fingerprint Apple Tree Art (Pre-K Pages)
Paint, trace, and cut to create an apple tree in this multi-step art exploration.
Apple Pizza Snack Activity (Pre-K Pages)
Make (and eat) your own apple “pizza” using this fun interactive snack activity.
Apple Tree Play Dough Activity (Pre-K Pages)
Explore trees and apples using play dough (and a free printable).