Activity Number
188
Not Editable
Important Notice!
Overview and Learning Objectives
Classroom Practice
Central Concepts
Textbook References
Extensions and Connections
Additional Info
Macro Micro Link
Activity Credits
Requirements

Solids, Liquids, and Gases (6-page activity)

Interactive, scaffolded model

Activity Screenshot

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This Activity Requires:

  • Java 1.5+ - Java 1.5+ is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X 10.4 and greater. If you are using Mac OS X 10.3, you can download MW Version 1.3 and explore within it instead.

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Important Notice!

The activity will work properly on Windows.

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Overview and Learning Objectives

Students will observe models of macroscopic and microscopic solids, liquids, and gases. Students will observe that there is space between the molecules of a gas and very little or no space between the molecules of a liquid and a solid, and that the extent of molecular movement and degree of inter-molecular attractions differs in the phases.

Students will be able to:

  • predict what happens when a gas, liquid, or solid is compressed;
  • describe what a gas, liquid, and solid looks like at the atomic level;
  • describe the behavior of particles in each phase of matter;
  • compare the macroscopic characteristics with microscopic characteristics for the three phases.

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Classroom Practice

This activity has students zoom into substances in order to compare the molecular properties of the different states of matter. This activity stands alone, but is also available as a second activity from a week-long module (see additional background for a link to the module).

This activity is also a prerequisite Stepping Stone activity because it provides students with a strong mental model about the molecular structure and properties of matter. For a biology classroom it is important to explain that all living things contain solids, liquids, and gases. These different states have specific properties that relate to their role in the living systems.

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Central Concepts

Key Concept:

Solid, liquids, and gases differ in terms of their macroscopic properties as well as the arrangement and movement of their molecules.

Additional Related Concepts

Concept Map Available

Physics/Chemistry

  • Gas
  • Liquid
  • Molecule
  • Solid
  • States of Matter

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Textbook References

  • Biology (Miller and Levine) Prentice Hall 5th Edition - Unit I: Chapter 3 - Introduction to Chemistry
  • Biology: Exploring Life - Chapter 4: The Chemical Basis of Life
  • BSCS Blue (8th Edition) - Chapter 1: The Chemistry of Life
  • Cell Biology (Pollard and Earnshaw) Saunders 2002 - Chapter Two: Molecular Structures

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Extensions and Connections

Users might like to extend this activity by working with the activity Phase Change (activity 180).

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Additional Info

Additional Background

See teacher guide

This is activity 2 of a full module that starts with:

http://www.concord.org/~barbara/workbench_web/states_of_matter/index.html

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Macro Micro Link

Students observe some macroscopic properties for the three phases of matter and then compare these properties to the microscopic properties depicted in the molecular model. By directly correlating observable macro-scale properties to the micro-scale behavior of atoms in matter, students will begin to develop their own conception of the kinetics in a particulate model of matter.

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Activity Credits

Created by CC Project: Molecular Workbench using Molecular Workbench + Pedagogica

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Requirements

  • Java 1.5+ - Java 1.5+ is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X 10.4 and greater. If you are using Mac OS X 10.3, you can download MW Version 1.3 and explore within it instead.

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NSF Logo
These materials are based upon work supported
by the National Science Foundation under grant numbers
9980620, ESI-0242701, EIA-0219345, DUE-0402553, and 0628181.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this
material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect
the views of the National Science Foundation.