Chemistry: States of Matter Module

The States of Matter module focuses on the properties of the three states of matter – gas, liquid, and solid. A series of demonstrations are performed in order to reinforce and illustrate these concepts. The level of the discussion is tailored to the age and background of each class.

In one demonstration dry ice is used to illustrate the change between a solid and a gas without passing through the liquid state; a process known as sublimation. In another demonstration a non-Newtonian substance known as an obleck is used as an example of a substance which has both the properties of a solid and a liquid. Students are allowed to play with the obleck to observe both properties. Various liquids layered in clear beakers are used to illustrate the property of density. A demonstration of the change in properties of substances at extremely low temperatures using liquid Nitrogen is always a hit, and is usually done at the conclusion of the module. Unfortunately, no one but the Bio-Bus staff may handle the liquid Nitrogen.

Grade Level: 2-3, 5, 8

Where Taught: Classroom, laboratory, activity room or media center

# Students: One class’s-worth of students (up to 30 + teacher) preferred. For this module only, we can stretch to one-and-a-half or even two classes’ worth (45-50), if it allows us to see all the students in a grade level in one day.

Time needed for presentation: 50 minutes, plus 10 minutes between sessions to clean up and prepare for the next session.

Georgia Performance Standards: 2nd grade S2P1 a, b; 3rd grade S3P1 a, b, d; 5th grade S5P2 a, b, c; 8th grade S8P1 a, b, c, d, e, f;