Background: Every time you take a drink of lemonade, soda,
or powdered fruit drink, you are drinking a solution. And, when
you take a breath of air or grab onto a doorknob you are using
solutions. What exactly are solutions? A solution is a type
of mixture made of two or more substances that are evenly
Without solutions we could not survive. The air we breathe, for example, is made
up of various gases including oxygen and carbon dioxide that are dissolved in
nitrogen. The water we drink is also a solution that contains various minerals that
are dissolved in oxygen. Solids can also be solutions. Volcanic rocks formed
from cooled molten rock are solutions made of several different substances.
Alloys are solid solutions consisting of metals or nonmetals dissolved in metals.
Steel, for example, used to make bridges, cars, and bicycles is an alloy made of
carbon and other substances dissolved in iron.
The process by which particles in a substance separate, or spread out evenly in
a mixture is called dissolving. The solute is the substance that is dissolved. In
powdered fruit drink the powder is the solute and water is the solvent. It can be
said the powdered fruit drink is soluble, or is able to dissolve in water. In this
activity you will identify and describe some common solutions with which you are
Materials: air, soda, paper clip, powdered fruit drink, piece of brass
1. Read the background information. Make sure you know the difference
between solutes and solvents.
2. Obtain the objects listed in the Materials from your teacher and bring them to
your desk. Each of these objects is an example of a solution.
3. On the following page is a data table that includes names of the objects you
will study. Explain the appearance of the solution and write your description in the
4. Next, write down the solute and solvent of the solution.
5. Answer the questions at the bottom of the page.
Visual Learning Company
Solutions at work