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Apple Science

Students will have so much fun finding out what happens to apples when we add lemon juice to the “meat.”

Let's learn why apples turn brown!

Do students ever wonder why apples turn brown so fast when they are sliced? Well, during this experiment, students will learn about the reaction that occurs when sliced apples are exposed to the air and how adding lemon juice stops that reaction and keeps it from browning. Students will also love inspecting apples up close with magnifiers to see all the different parts.


For this developmental activity you will need:

Various apples cut into slices

Lemon juice

Knife (for adult use only)



Apples cut in half to show core

Learning Outcomes




Observation and Inquiry


Ask on-topic questions

Make predictions

Examine apple closely


Step 1

Show students what an apple looks like cut in half to see the core and the star shape at the center. Ask students to identify and label each part of the apple.

Step 2

Ask students if they’ve ever seen what happens when an apple is cut into slices and left out on the counter. (it turns brown) Ask if anyone knows how to keep it from turning brown.

Step 3

Have each set of partners come up one at a time and dip an apple slice half way into lemon juice and place on a plate. Ask students for their prediction as to what will happen to the apple that was dipped in lemon juice.

Step 4  

Place plate of sliced apples half-dipped in lemon juice, apple cut in half with core exposed, and magnifying glasses at science center for students to observe what happens throughout the day. 

Step 5  

At the end of the day, have students report back about what happened. Was anyone’s predictions right?

Playful Questions

Why do apples turn brown sometimes?

Why does lemon juice keep apples from turning brown?

Can I still eat the apple if it turns brown?

How long do apples last before I can eat them?

When do apples grow? Where can I get apples in winter time?

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