Second-graders Conduct States of Matter Experiments
Posted 01/14/2016 01:58PM


The second grade is studying states of matter and performed experiments with Lower School STEM coordinator Ian Riddell. After the class discussed how things change from solid to liquid to gas, and how energy and temperature are what causes matter to change states, they took a look at dry ice. Dry ice is unusual because at room temperature, it changes directly from a solid to a gas. It doesn’t melt. It evaporates. This is a process called “sublimation”.


As a result of these unique properties, the students were able to see some unusual behavior when we experimented with dry ice. The class watched how it boiled at room temperature and experimented with placing dry ice in different temperatures of water and saw that hot water created a stronger reaction because it has more energy. 


Students also saw that carbon dioxide gas (given off by dry ice) is heavier than air. So, unlike steam, it falls rather than floats. They experimented with making carbon dioxide bubbles and watch them fall suddenly, unlike normal bubbles that float.


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