Just before the end of the school year in May, third graders at the Rocky Mountain Classical Academy had a chance to experiment with the solid form of carbon dioxide, or dry ice, right in their own classroom. The day started off in the school's auditorium with Cool Science's popular States of Matter demonstration show, all about solids, liquids and gases and what happens to them as the temperature changes. Students’ eyes lit up when a spoon made of the metal gallium melted faster than an ice cube in warm water- just one of many amazing demonstrations about the ever-changing forms of matter in our world.
After the show, the kids had the opportunity to get some hands-on experience with dry ice. The third graders watched- and tasted- what happens when dry ice carbonates apple juice, played with soap bubbles formed from carbon dioxide gas, and held dry ice with spoons and gloved hands. They also learned an important new word- sublimation- which is what happens when a solid changes directly to a gas without melting first.
Everyone, even the teachers and parents who volunteered as lab assistants, had an amazing day learning about the science of solids, liquids and gases. Perhaps more than a few students were captivated by the exciting and cool world of scientific study after such entertaining activities, and parents learned some easy ways to spice up their child’s next birthday party.
-posted by Joshua