Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Matter... and OObleck

Today students went over the differences between solids, liquids, and gases. This is material they should be familiar with, but we are reviewing it and going a little more in depth. We discussed what the particles look like, the densities, and how much energy they have. We also discussed phase changes and worked on two phase change graphs the students will see on the SOL, how to label them, and how to answer questions about them.

We also discussed matter (everything in the universe is made of matter) and how you can classify it as substances or mixtures. Substances can either be elements from the periodic table or compounds made up of more than one element. 

We finished class by doing a lab with oobleck. Oobleck is technically a non-Newtonian Fluid which is really hard to define in layman's terms. Scientifically it is also a colloid because the cornstarch particles are very tiny and evenly dispersed throughout the water, but will not settle out. Anyway.

The students mixed up their oobleck and then performed a series of tests to determine whether the oobleck was more like a liquid or more like a solid (they had to make a choice). Fun was had, messes were made, people were learning. Life was good. Here is a photo of Caroline (look at her mess!).

To watch a mythbusters about oobleck and how you can walk on it(!) - click here.

Homework for tonight are Boxes G and J on the green homework sheet

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