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Student Instructions

Purpose: The purpose of this experiment is to help students appreciate the relationship between mass, volume and concentration, and between actual and estimated values.


  • 1- five gallon aquarium
  • 1- 100 mL beaker
  • 1- 1000 mL beaker
  • 3- packets Cherry Kool-Aid sweetened
  • 2-stirring rods
  • 1- large stirring rod
  • 1- calculator
  • Student Journal Activity Sheets


  1. Fill container A with 100 mL of water, container B with 1000 mL of water and container C with 10 L of water.
  2. Put one packet each of Cherry Kool-Aid in containers A, B and C and mix thoroughly so that no Kool-Aid settles to the bottom of the solution.

    Part 1- Determining Concentrations:

  1. Fill out Part 1 of the student journal activity sheets, which asks for the mass of the indicator, volume of the solution and concentration of the indicator in containers A, B and C. Also, rate the concentration of the solution qualitatively by describing the color of the solution (i.e. bright red, red, light red, pink, etc)
  2. Part 2- Estimating Volume and Concentration

  3. Fill out Part 2 of the student journal activity sheets, which asks you to rank the concentrations of the solutions from the highest concentration (darkest color) to the lowest concentration (lightest color).
  4. Also, estimate the concentration of the Unknown solution by comparing the color of the Unknown to the colors of A, B and C and estimate the volume of water in the Unknown container.
  5. Part 3- Calculating the Actual Volume of the Unknown

  6. When you are finished with Parts 1 and 2, ask your teacher for the number of packets of Kool-Aid that were added to the Unknown solution and the concentration of the Unknown solution. Now, calculate the Actual Volume of the Unknown using the formula:
    Concentration = Mass / Volume
    (remember to use the total mass of the indicator added to the solution, not just the mass of one packet.)

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