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Liquid Crystals: The Fourth State of Matter—Blended Learning Solution for Chemistry 1-Year Access

By: The Flinn Staff

Do you ever wish you had more time to spend on labs, that your students could be more independent in their progress through experimental procedures and that labs better connected to the things students experience in their lives? Flinn’s blended learning solution kits for chemistry address these questions by thoughtfully combining hands-on chemistry with digital enhancements.

In this lab, students combine two clear liquids and heat them, then watch as the mixture produces vivid color changes from red to green to blue as it cools. From skin mapping to circuit board testing to mood rings, liquid crystals have amazing modern applications.

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Combine two clear liquids and heat them, then watch as the mixture produces vivid color changes from red to green to blue as it cools. From skin mapping to circuit board testing to mood rings, liquid crystals have amazing modern applications. Liquid crystals have properties hovering between solids and liquids—molecules move independently as in a liquid, but they tend to orient or align themselves like a crystalline solid. The alignment of the molecules changes with temperature to produce fascinating color changes. A simple introduction to nanotechnology!

Complete for 8 groups of students working in groups of 3 or 4.

Individual Flinn blended Learning Solution Kits include experiment supplies and 1 year of digital content access to one lab for 30 users. Digital features include:
  • Anytime, anywhere digital access to prelab, technique and summary videos that help students focus on understanding core chemical concepts and progress through experiments independently.
  • Digital procedures optimized to work, with embedded assessments and real sample data and enough materials for 24–30 students working in small groups to complete each experiment
  • Unique takes on core chemistry concepts and clear connections to the things students experience in their everyday lives.
  • Virtual reality simulations that place students “inside the beaker” to connect the atomic and macroscopic scales and browser-based simulations that allow students to generate digital emission spectra and pH indicator tables. 
  • Built-in safety training—videos and assessments on pre-lab safety, proper PPE, safety equipment, procedure safety, chemical disposal, hazard recognition and emergency response.

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Developing and using models
Planning and carrying out investigations
Constructing explanations and designing solutions
Obtaining, evaluation, and communicating information

Disciplinary Core Ideas

HS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
HS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
HS-PS2.B: Types of Interactions
HS-ETS1.C: Optimizing the Design Solution

Crosscutting Concepts

Patterns
Structure and function
Stability and change

Performance Expectations

HS-PS1-1. Use the periodic table as a model to predict the relative properties of elements based on the patterns of electrons in the outermost energy level of atoms.
HS-PS1-3. Plan and conduct an investigation to gather evidence to compare the structure of substances at the bulk scale to infer the strength of electrical forces between particles.
HS-PS1-6. Refine the design of a chemical system by specifying a change in conditions that would produce increased amounts of products at equilibrium.
HS-PS2-6. Communicate scientific and technical information about why the molecular-level structure is important in the functioning of designed materials.