Observation is an essential part of science. We use our senses to observe. Sometimes we extend our senses with tools like magnifying glasses, stethoscopes and satellites. Whatever methods we use, observations help us make sense of the world around us. The article Observation and science explores the role of observation in greater detail.
Water chemistry – keeping it simple
Written for teachers, but with young students in mind, the science articles explore several concepts:
- Water – looks at its importance and its unusual characteristics.
- Solids, liquids and gases – uses water as the context to explain states of matter.
- Melting and freezing – how changes of state involve the addition or removal of heat energy.
- Observing bubbles – explores surface tension – the curious force that holds individual liquid molecules together.
- Working with water and ice – profiles how scientists observe and work with water in its different states.
Student activities – keeping it fun while exploring the science
Student activities extend and complement the science articles. Explore states of matter with these activities:
- Water molecules in drama – students learn about the physical characteristics of water in its different states.
- Looking at water – solid, liquid or gas – a hands-on experience of water in its different states.
- Solid to liquid to gas – examines the role of heat energy as water changes states.
Explore surface tension with these activities:
- Observing water’s thin skin – three simple activities demonstrate water’s thin elastic layer.
- Investigating bubbles – students work as scientists as they experiment with bubbles.
There are two teacher resources. Alternative conceptions about water’s states of matter matches common alternative conceptions with accurate science concepts. It includes suggested teaching points to help make conceptual changes occur. There is also a unit plan that pulls all of the resources together. The planner is in Word, so teachers can adapt the planner to suit their needs.
For older students, you might be interested in exploring our collection of water resources covered in H₂O on the go, the water cycle – introduction. These resources are designed to help students understand the water cycle – the continuous movement of water through the Earth's upper crust, surface and atmosphere.