The research reported here consists of the introduction of an intervention based on a series of laboratory activities combined with concept mapping. The purpose of this intervention was to enhance student understanding of acid-base chemistry for tenth grade students' from two classes in a Turkish high school. An additional aim was to enhance student attitude toward chemistry. In the research design, two cohorts of students were compared; those from the intervention group (N=31) and a second group (N=28) who were taught in a more traditional manner. Student understanding of acid-base chemistry was evaluated with a pretest/posttest research design using a purpose-designed instrument, the Concept Achievement Test (CAT) consisting of 25 items, 15 multiple choice and ten multiple choice with explanation. Alternative conceptions identified in the pretest were incorporated into the intervention, which thereby sought to move students toward views more in accord with scientific views for the concepts. Statistical tests indicate the instrument is reliable (with an alpha reliability of 0.81) and the analysis of the findings revealed statistically significant differences between the intervention and traditional groups with respect to conceptual understanding. Examination of student explanations and analyses of semi-structured interviews conducted with selected students suggest that the main influence was the laboratory activities. Analysis of the findings in the context of relevant literature that concept mapping in conjunction with laboratory activities is more enjoyable, helps student link concepts, and reduces their alternative conceptions.