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Matter Matters - Virtual

Students will learn about the different states of matter and their properties and explore characteristics of liquids with a focus on density.

Pour trouver une version française de cette activité, cherchez pour le nom d'activité suivant: Matière à réfléchir - virtuelle

This workshop introduces the different states of matter and their properties. It explores characteristics of liquids with a focus on density. This is done through two hands-on experiments.

This virtual outreach activity is split into a pre-activity document - i.e., workshop overview and list of materials with preparation instructions for both the volunteer and educator, a post-activity document - i.e., extra information and resources for the educator after the activity, and a PowerPoint presentation with presenter notes to help lead the workshop virtually. Also included is a Resources document with background information for the workshop. 

 

What You Need

Activity 1: Let's Talk Liquids

  • Tall, clear glass (or a plastic water bottle)
  • Water (1/4 cup)
  • Cooking Oil (1/4 cup)
  • Dish Detergent (1/4 cup)
  • Syrup (1/4 cup)
  • Worksheet

Activity 2: Lava Lamp

  • Tall, clear glass (or a plastic water bottle)
  • Water (1/3 cup)
  • Cooking Oil (1/3 cup)
  • Vinegar (1 tbsp) - lemon juice, Alka Seltzer can be used as an alternative
  • Baking Soda (1 tbsp.)
  • Food colouring (optional)

PowerPoint:

Pre-Activity Document:

 

Safety Notes

Ensure you are familiar with Let's Talk Science's precautions with respect to safe delivery of virtual outreach to youth. These precautions can be found in the manual for this activity. 

What To Do

Pre-Workshop Prep

Students must complete the following PRIOR to the workshop. 

  • Print out the following sheets (total of 2 sheets):
    • Let's Talk Liquids Worksheet

Activity 1: Let's Talk Liquids

  1. Pour approximately 1/4 cup of each liquid into a separate glass or cup. Ask an adult for help and be careful not to spill the liquids.
  2. Examine each liquid and fill out the worksheet.
  3. Pour the syrup/honey into the glass.
  4. Pour the detergent into the same glass.
  5. Pour the water into the same glass.
  6. Pour the oil into the same glass. Did the liquids mix or stay separate? 

Activity 2: Lava Lamp

  1. Put 3 tablespoons of baking soda into a glass.
  2. Fill the glass about 1/3 full with cold water.
  3. Add food colouring.
  4. Stir. 
  5. Pour in the cooking oil until the glass is 2/3 full.
  6. Add a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. 

Discovery

What's Happening?

Activity 1: Let's Talk Liquids

When the liquids were added to the glass, they remained in the same order and did not mix. 

  • Some liquids are "heavier" than other liquids.
  • We use the word density to describe how "heavy" the liquid is. 
  • If liquids have different densities, they will often form separate layers.

Activity 2: Lava Lamp

The oil stays on top of the water, because it is "lighter". The vinegar is heavier than the oil, so it sinks to the bottom. The vinegar and baking soda meet and a reaction occurs forming a gas. The gas creates bubbles.

What's Happening?

Activity 1: Let's Talk Liquids

When the liquids were added to the glass, they remained in the same order and did not mix. 

  • Some liquids are "heavier" than other liquids.
  • We use the word density to describe how "heavy" the liquid is. 
  • If liquids have different densities, they will often form separate layers.

Activity 2: Lava Lamp

The oil stays on top of the water, because it is "lighter". The vinegar is heavier than the oil, so it sinks to the bottom. The vinegar and baking soda meet and a reaction occurs forming a gas. The gas creates bubbles.

Investigate Further

Activity 1: Let's Talk Liquids

If you want to do more with this experiment with a caregiver at home, you can try these activities. They will be included in your post-activity worksheet. 

  1. Add small objects to the glass and see if they sink or float.
  2. Try different liquids.
  3. Pour the liquids into the glass in different orders.

Investigate Further

Activity 1: Let's Talk Liquids

If you want to do more with this experiment with a caregiver at home, you can try these activities. They will be included in your post-activity worksheet. 

  1. Add small objects to the glass and see if they sink or float.
  2. Try different liquids.
  3. Pour the liquids into the glass in different orders.

Resources

PowerPoint:

Pre-Activity Document:

Post-Activity Document:

Resources:

Check out additional resources (articles, career profiles and more) on these topics from Let’s Talk Science: