After their initial brainstorming session, fifth graders communicated their designs they had brainstormed to their group at large. As a team, they had to agree upon a solution to trap as much gas as possible to prove the idea that the mass of the substances before a reaction takes place is the same as the mass afterwards when the substances are combined. Students completed at least two tests of their technologies, improving each test. Some students measured as little as 0.5g of gas escaping! Not bad for a gas-trapping technology made with everyday materials like plastic wrap, cups, and balloons!
The best part of this experience was seeing how much mathematics scientists use. Between measuring mass on the digital scales, to using various operations to calculate the masses, we were truly mathematicians as well as scientists and engineers!