It's always a good day when students realize that what they're learning about has connections to the real world. As we wrapped up our unit, students discussed four real-world examples in which understanding the particle theory of matter comes into play!
In the culminating project to their unit, sixth graders are showcasing their understanding by completing an assessment in which they explain how they can smell a candle both when it is unlit and when it's lit. They're explaining temperature's role in phase change and the degree with which you can smell something. Additionally, since phase change is an important part of this phenomena, that's included as well! Way to go sixth graders!
In order to understand how we may or may not smell something, it's important to understand how phase change plays a role in this. Sixth graders worked on drawing models to explain how water condenses. They also offered feedback to one another in a shared slides presentation!
As sixth graders work to determine how they smell something from a distance, they now know that phase change plays an important role since what we smell are gaseous molecules of a substance. We know that molecules at the liquid level are the same at the gaseous level with the exception of the amount of energy present, so our models had to show this. Check out the awesome work of 6th graders who worked to show how water evaporates both due to an increase in heat energy and the air particles bumping into the surface of water.
Sixth graders took a quick break in their Chemistry Unit to use what they've discovered about matter to design a hydraulic judo bot. It was quite the experience, and to say that I am proud of all the sixth graders is an understatement!
After smelling 15 different odors, sixth graders confirmed the following:
Students uncovered that different odors can be...
Made of completely different atoms
Made of the same atoms but be arranged differently
OR made of different amounts of the same atoms!
We're getting closer to answering our overall DRIVING QUESTION! Wahoo!
As sixth graders begin to uncover what makes one odor different from another, they each adopted an element from the periodic table to learn more about the elements that make up everything on Earth!
Check out their understanding of this new concept, which will help aid in their understanding of what makes one odor different from another!