I happened to take my students to the computer lab today to test a website for an issue we have been having. I had students log into Google classroom and click the link I had sent to them. All students found themselves on a webpage about states of matter, which happens to be our next science topic.
I randomly asked how many states of matter there were. Students gave me answers that ranged from 3 to 7. I suggested they read the article to figure out how many states of matter existed. Many were shocked to find out there was more than solids, liquids, and gases. Students were engrossed in conversations with peers, asking questions about plasma and Bose-Einstein condensates. I mentioned our science book discussed three states of matter and does not have the most current information in it. Students asked more questions, their curiosities filling the media center.
Then an idea hit me like a ton of bricks. I explained that our next science unit is states of matter, and they are going to drive the learning. They were tasked with sending me an email that listed questions, activities, or ideas they had about states of matter. I wanted to know what they wanted to learn and how they wanted to learn it. Students excitedly began typing away, but many were unsure of what goes into sending an email. We had a quick talk about including a subject, a greeting, and a closing.
As messages began to flood my inbox, I quickly saw the ingenuity and dynamic thinking these 5th graders had. We are all excited to learn and discover states of matter as a classroom community. One of my students commented that we went to the lab to test a website and learned more about states of matter than they ever imagined and how to send an email.
If anyone wants to know what we will be covering read on. Here are the ideas of some 5th graders who understand the power of growth, self directed learning, and making discoveries. We will be using all of their ideas to cover our states of matter unit. This will truly be an empowering science study, and I am okay with having no idea where it will take us!
Mia: Could a solid turn into a gas, and then a liquid?
Olivia: I would really like to know what would happen if you combined some states of matter.
Angela: We should see what happens when plasma and solids do when they go together. What does it make?
Ben: Hello quick question Can we make up our own element and describe its proprieties, what it does, etc for a project. Please. Thank you
Zach: I think we should try to find gas and plasma together. It would be fun to see what it would become.
Vivian: I am wondering can you touch Bose Eisenstein matter? or is it gas?
Owen: I think we should see what happens if we put gas and plasma liquid together.
Hayden: I'm wondering how scientists find and discover the new kinds of matter.
Samantha: I've barley even heard of plasma before and I am wondering how it works. It says if you add energy to gases it turns to plasma. Is there another way to get plasma? If you add energy to plasma, what will happen? I am very interested in this new matter I just found out about!
Addy: I am wondering why all the states of matter turn into each other? I am also wondering if we can do a breakout edu based on the states of matter.
Grace: I was thinking that we could do a states of matter scavenger hunt. Like finding 3 things that are solid, 3 things that are liquid, etc.
Mallory: I think there is over a million states of matter because i looked on wiki and i saw all different things and I was like OHH MA GAAHH. There are 5 main states of matter but there is so much more to discover!
Addison: I think we should talk about Fermionic Condensate. I wonder why lots of people don't know about it. How is it related to Bose-Einstein Condensate? Can we try and make something that is Fermionic?
Alex: What happens when you put liquid nitrogen in a vacuum chamber?
Taylor: As you know today we talked about matter in the computer lab. I am wondering how many states of matter there really are. I am also not sure what Bose Einstein Condense is exactly. I am so anxious to learn all about our upcoming science lab lessons. An activity that we could do would be to fill a paper bag with air so we can see that there is a type of gas inside.
Lachlan: Can we learn about the state of matter: Gross–Pitaevskii?
Akshaya: Are there more than five states of matter?
Annie: is there a 6th state of matter? I was also wonder if Bose Einstien condensate is everywhere and we just can’t see it? Can you make anything out of plasma? Where would you find plasma and Bose Einstein condensate? What does plasma or Bose Einstein condensate feel like? Can we play that game like the game with when you roll the die and depending on what you roll, you go to a different place but with matter?
Ewan: Can we make ooblec and put it in ice water?
Yei: I think there are 5 states of matter because I looked it up in Google. I would like to know more about this.
Preston: There are 5 known matter - Solid, Liquid, Gasses, Plasma, and Condensates!
Jake: How do scientist know what is states of matter?