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Molecules Matter!

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This week in science 6 students are studying chemistry, which is the study of matter.  Students were introduced to the idea that matter is composed of atoms and molecules that are attracted to each other and in constant motion.  Atoms and molecules make up the three common states of matter on Earth—solids, liquids, and gases.  We explored the attractions and motion of atoms and molecules by experimenting and observing water during Monday’s lab.  On Wednesday, students created, conducted, and observed an experiment to answer the question, “Is the speed of water molecules different in hot and cold water?”  By adding two colors to the water molecules, students discovered that the color mixed faster in the hot water and more slowly in the cold water, thus heating a liquid increases the speed of the molecules and cooling a liquid decreases the speed of the molecules.  This increase and decrease in the speed of the molecules competes with the attraction between the molecules and causes molecules to either move a little further apart or bring them closer together.  We drew simple models to show the motion and attraction of the molecules in the water.  Next up, we will investigate the behavior of atoms and molecules in a solid.  Stayed tuned…

Click here for a supplemental student reading.

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