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STC Secondary: Exploring the Properties of Matter

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In the unit Exploring the Properties of Matter, students investigate basic properties of matter and the use of these properties to distinguish 1 substance from another. Students begin by examining physical properties and then turn to the characteristic properties of density; boiling, melting, and freezing points; rates of thermal expansion; and solubility. They determine that these properties are independent of amount and, taken together, can be used to identify an unknown substance.

 
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In the unit Exploring the Properties of Matter, students investigate some basic properties of matter and the use of these properties to distinguish one substance from another. Students begin by examining some physical properties and then turn to the characteristic properties of density; boiling, melting, and freezing points; rates of thermal expansion; and solubility. They determine that these properties are independent of amount and, taken together, can be used to identify an unknown substance.

Everything around us is made of some type of matter. Too often, this is all students understand about matter. In Exploring the Properties of Matter, students investigate some basic properties of matter and the use of these properties to distinguish one substance from another. The inquiries in which students engage are designed to develop a deep understanding of the properties of matter, enhance observational and analytical skills, and improve laboratory technique and experimental design.Students begin by reviewing mass and volume, and then explore density using a density column. Based on their observations, students draw some conclusions about density as a characteristic property. Applying what they know about the mass, volume, and density of solids and liquids, students design an inquiry to determine the density of other materials.

STC-Secondary™ is a 16-unit, inquiry-centered middle school science curriculum developed by the National Science Resources Center, an organization of the Smithsonian Institution. Each STC-Secondary™ unit provides opportunities for students to experience scientific phenomena firsthand. A comprehensive, research-based curriculum, STC-Secondary™ is aligned with the National Science Education Standards.

 
 
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