Sixth grade students recently learned about pH testing as part of their science studies. As part of an experiment, the class first watched an advertisement about a special kind of kitty litter called "pretty litter" that changes colors. The class determined that based on what they knew about pH, that that was the mechanism allowing a change of color based on what liquid was added.
The abbreviation pH stands for potential hydrogen, and it tells us how much hydrogen is in liquids—and how active the hydrogen ion is
Each student was given two inches worth of kitty litter in a cup and different liquids ranging from spring water, bleach water to vinegar. The class observed what the litter did in response to the different liquids. Some reacted quickly and the litter changed color. Some did not look like they were reacting and the directions said it could take up to 48 hours.
Students continued the experiment at home since the color changing process based on the pH reaction with the litter took extended times. To date, the class has observed that nondairy milk turned the litter a yellow brown color, fabric softener turned it light blue, and our school spring water was a perfect neutral green.