Presentation (Powerpoint) File
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The “States of Matter Ice Cube Meltdown Challenges” is a set of two excellent hands-on Science Lab activities to introduce or end a unit on the States of Matter (solid and liquid), heat energy, energy transfer methods (conduction and radiation). Using what they know about the heat energy and what causes things to melt, they observe the effect of conductivity and radiation on an ice cube, come up with the fastest way to melt an ice cube.
Importantly, the activities are designed to exemplify an argumentation approach to practical work, using a ‘predict-observe-explain’ framework. Students often think that temperature affects how liquid freezes—and melts which means that the ice cube needs to get warmer to turn from solid into liquid and some materials are intrinsically warm (wood, plastic, wool) while others are inherently cold (metals, glass, water). These activities are a great way to challenge these ideas right in front of them by presenting observations which many will find counter-intuitive. Through argumentation, students predict the outcome of both experiments, observe the results, and explain them, using scientific terminology such as heat, energy, solid, liquid, particles, energy transfer, conductor, insulator, melting point, temperature, etc.
This PPT is editable (text-only) to meet your students’ and your personal needs. Therefore, the activities could be adapted to lower/ higher grades.
The presentation contains hidden slides (teacher’s guide and printables for students) and visible slides to guide the students through the activities and filling out the worksheets. Also, there are two printables to assess learning after each activity. Possible answers included for smoother evaluation.
The activities included:
- Activity 1: Predict - Which ice cube will melt first: the ice cube placed on the plastic block or the one - on the wooden block?
- Activity 2: Find: What is the fastest way to melt an ice cube in 3 min?
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