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Soil pH

Soil pH


A pH Meter is a scientific instrument that measures the hydrogen-ion concentration (or pH) in a solution, indicating its acidityor alkalinity.  Knowledge of pH is useful or critical in laboratory work.  pH meters of various types and quality can be used for soil measurements in agriculture; water quality for water supply systems, swimming pools, etc.; brewing, industrially or domestically; healthcare, to ensure that solutions are safe when applied to patients or lethal as sterilants and disinfectants; and many other applications.


In this laboratory experiment, your students will use a pH sensor to measure the pH value of soil samples they will obtain.  They will compare these pH values to others in the class.  After calculating average pH values for the soil samples, students will determine if the soil is "sweet" or "sour" and make a prediction on which nutrients are deficient.  


    This U-PIK will include enough materials and supplies for eight student groups.  Suggested group size is 2-3 students.  The U-PIK will include the following:


    • 8 LabQuest 2 interfaces
    • 8 pH Sensors
    • 8 Boxes of Kimwipes
    • 16 Plastic spoons
    • 16 Wash bottles filled with DI water
    • 8 Balances
    • 1 Pack of Large weigh boats (to be shared among the groups)
    • 9 100-mL Graduated cylinders
    • 18 250-mL Beakers

    The pH sensor can easily be used to support the concept of acids and bases in solid samples.  Students should be introduced to the concept of acids and bases prior to the laboratory experiment.  Other than an average, no calculations are required for the laboratory.  The experiment is suitable for any middle-school or high school science course, including environmental or Earth science.      


    Time:  One laboratory session.


    Student Level:  BEGINNER (Grades 5-12).

  • pH Manual

  • Laboratory Experiment: Preview Document

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