I have been preparing lessons for some of my students about preparing acidic and basic solutions, and I keep finding pre-made labs in which the students "standardize a basic solution" by titrating it with an acid of "known" concentration.
The problem is that the students create a solution of NaOH by measuring a certain mass and adding it to a volumetric flask, filling with water to the desired volume. But the students will do the same thing with an acid (potassium hydrogen pthalate, for example). They will measure out a specific mass, do the calculations to determine the molarity of the KHP solution, and then do the titration to determine the molarity of the NaOH solution. But if the students took the mass of the NaOH in the beginning, can they not just use that information to determine the approximate molarity of the solution?
As the title says, why bother to standardize? If our NaOH solution had some room for error in measurement and calculation, surely titrating against another solution of "known" concentration would only introduce more error, no?