Eighth grade students in the classrooms of Middle School Science Teachers Ms. Callie Bambenek and Ms. Michelle Hrastich are exploring atomic interactions in matter for one of their chemistry units. Through a series of chemical phenomena and additional lab explorations, students are able to connect physical and chemical changes in matter with endothermic and exothermic processes. They are then challenged to apply these topics back to both the Laws of Conservation of Matter and Conservation of Mass.
Some of the indicators observed within the past week were the following:
- Color changes
- Odor changes
- Temperature changes
- Gas bubbles
- Precipitate formed
Students observed several visual models to make a number of scientific connections. Empty tea bags became rockets when lit on fire, glowsticks glowed brighter when submerged in liquid with greater thermal energy, and color and light changes when chemicals were combined. Bambenek said, “Allowing students to be authentic chemistry learners means they need to be able to witness and question phenomena that undergo changes while also supporting our laws that govern our unit.”
We can’t wait to see what our 8th grade chemists will explore next!