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Product 12876

By: Lee Marek, Retired, Naperville North H.S., Naperville, IL

With the Observation and Experiment Introduction to the Scientific Method Kit, students design controlled experiments to identify the substances responsible for changes. This is a fun, easy activity to introduce students to chemistry.

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Students mix two solids and a liquid in a closed container and observe a dramatic series of changes—temperature changes, color changes and changes in state. What interactions are responsible for each observation? Are the changes independent of one another? In this open-ended, inquiry-based introduction to the scientific method, students first make observations and then design controlled experiments to identify the substances responsible for each change. Designed as a first experience for the chemistry lab, this activity is a fun and easy way to introduce students to the study of chemistry—students can actually hold an experiment in their hands to see and feel what chemistry is all about. Students learn that the scientific method is not a rigid path, it is a process—a process of discovery! Includes reproducible student handouts, detailed background information, complete Teacher Notes with sample data and answers to all questions and all necessary chemicals and consumable supplies.

Complete for 30 students working in pairs.

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Asking questions and defining problems
Planning and carrying out investigations
Analyzing and interpreting data
Constructing explanations and designing solutions

Disciplinary Core Ideas

MS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
MS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
HS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
HS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter

Crosscutting Concepts

Cause and effect
Stability and change

Performance Expectations

MS-PS4-2: Develop and use a model to describe that waves are reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through various materials.