Rock Cycle - Chemistry (1) Pre Lab
 OBJECTIVES: Exploring the properties of matter. Comparing solids, gases, liquids, and plasma. VOCABULARY: gas liquid matter plasma solid MATERIALS: plasma ball examples of the states of matter (i.e. water) Students observe different states of matter.
BACKGROUND:

Matter exists in 4 states that can be commonly observed including solid, liquid, gas, and plasma. There is a fifth state of matter that occurs at extremely cold temperatures called the Bose-Einstein condensate. However, the Bose-Einstein condensate is difficult to show because it occurs only at extremely low temperatures that are nonexistent on the Earth’s surface. We suggest that you tell students that they will see only four states of matter and observing Bose-Einstein condensate requires special equipment.

Each state has its own special characteristics.

SOLID STATE:
Characterized by: (1) definite shape, (2) definite volume, (3) higher density than liquids, and (4) very slight contraction and expansion.

LIQUID STATE:
Characterized by: (1) lack of a definite shape, (2) definite volume, (3) high density, and (4) slight expansion and contraction. (Children may notice that a liquid takes the shape of the container holding it, as does a gas.)

GASEOUS STATE:
Characterized by (1) lack of definite shape and volume, (2) low density (airy), and (3) easy contraction and expansion. (Children may describe gases as being light, colorless, invisible, or floating.)

PLASMA STATE:
Characterized by (1) lack of shape and (2) not able to classify it as a gas, liquid or solid.

PROCEDURE:

1. Before class, make sure you have 4 states of matter available.

2. Go over the four common states of matter. Ask the students for examples of each state in the classroom. Write their examples of the different states of matter on the board in a chart form; see the example below. They may not be familiar with plasma, so tell them plasma is very common. Demonstrate a plasma to the class using the plasma ball. Explain that lightening bolts are discharges of plasma. Plasma is also found in fluorescent bulbs.

 LIQUIDS SOLIDS GASES PLASMA water blood book  eraser desk air plasma ball
1. It may be difficult to come up with many examples of gases, plasma, and liquids in the classroom. Ask children to describe the states of matter in a kitchen. There are more liquids in the kitchen than in the classroom.

 LIQUIDS SOLIDS GASES PLASMA water milk  coffee knife stove floor air propane steam fluorescent bulbs
1. Have your students give you examples of the four states of matter from different settings. You might suggest a birthday party with helium balloons. They will learn that all four states of matter are all around us.

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