Package 3 - Year 3 & 4 Science - Liquid nitrogen show

Join the scientists from Fizzics Education as they teach you molecules and materials in their Liquid nitrogen show. Watch the video and then complete some of your own experiments at home.

Week 5 - Package 3 - Year 3 & 4 Science - Liquid nitrogen show

Things your child will need

Have these things available so your child can complete this task.

Ideal

  • Liquid nitrogen show video

  • Ice cubes

  • Safe kitchen items made of different materials like metal/silicone/plastic/wood e.g. pots, trays or mixing bowls

  • Bowl

  • Tea towel or paper towel

  • Table or floor to work at (it might get a little bit wet)

Optional: extension activity

  • Water

  • Clear or see-through plastic bottle (freezer safe)

  • Marker pen

  • Freezer

Before your child starts

Make sure your child has everything ready that they will need at the start of the lesson.

What your child needs to do

  1. Watch the Liquid nitrogen show video.

  2. Discuss that we can use the addition or removal of heat to make things change. If we change from gas to liquid to solid we call this a change of state. Changes of state can be reversed when we change the temperature.

  3. Discuss different materials. All the things around us are made of lots of kinds of materials. Materials can be very hard like concrete or they might be soft like a teddy bear. Some materials are better than others at letting heat move around from one place to another. These materials can be natural or they might be man-made.

  4. Follow instructions on Activity Sheet 1: The Ice is Melting (below)

  5. Discuss the results of the activity. What problems did you have (if any)? Which materials were the best at melting the ice? Why?

What your child can do next

Looking for more science? You can also try the Extension Activity: Molecules in a Bottle for a bit of extra fun and learning.

Options for your child

Activity too hard?

Check the temperature of different toys or items around your house. Some materials will feel cold, others will feel warmer. Try feeling something made of metal, wood, plastic or something soft like a blanket. You can also try putting a few items in the fridge and letting them get cold. Then, take them out and leave them for 15 minutes. Did they get warmer? Did they all get warm at the same speed or were some able to go back to room temperature quicker than others?

Activity too easy?

Try the activity again, this time using different surfaces outside! This time before you start, write down what you think is going to happen before the activity (make a guess). Which surface do you think will let the ice melt fastest? Can you think why? Then check and see if your guesses were correct. This is called making a hypothesis: your idea of what you think will happen before you do the experiment. Making guesses is an important part of how scientists do experiments. You might like to try grass, concrete, tiles, something in the sun or shade.

Extension/Additional activity

Extension Activity: Molecules in a Bottle (see below)


Activity sheet 1: The ice is melting

Materials can be good or bad at holding on to heat. If it is bad at holding onto heat we call this a conductor and it would feel cold to touch. This is because it is taking (transferring) the heat away from your hand. If it is good at holding onto heat we call this an insulator and it would feel warmer because it won’t take the heat away from your hand. What things are made of helps us decide what it might be used for.

We can use the addition or removal of heat to make things change state. This is all about how much energy the molecules have and how much they are moving around. Remember heat is another kind of energy like light or sound or movement.

Equipment

  • Ice cubes (in the freezer)

  • Two (or more) safe kitchen items made of different materials like metal/silicone/plastic/wood e.g. pots, trays or mixing bowls

  • Bowl

  • Tea towel or paper towel

Procedure

  1. Take an ice cube out of the freezer.

  2. How does it feel?

  3. Hold the ice in a tea towel or paper towel in your hand and over the bowl and watch it. It will start to melt as the heat from your hand is much hotter than the freezer. The ice is turning to water.

  4. Try blowing on the ice in your hand. Does this make it melt faster? Does it make your hand warmer?

  5. Once your ice has melted you should have a puddle of water in the bowl.

  6. Dry your hands and set the bowl aside - it is time to test with other materials

  7. Take two (or more) different material items and line them up. Try to find similar sized pieces of ice and place one on each material. Watch as they melt. Is the ice melting faster on any of the materials? Why do you think this might happen?

Discussion

  1. Why does the ice melt in your hand? What if your hand was very cold first?

  2. What material did the ice melt fastest on? Did any of the materials surprise you? Did something happen that was different to what you thought would happen?

  3. What would happen if you used different sized ice cubes on the different materials? Would that be a fair experiment?

Extension activity: Molecules in a bottle

Equipment

  • Water

  • Clear or see-through plastic bottle (freezer safe)

  • Marker pen

  • Freezer

Procedure

  1. Half fill the water bottle with water and put the lid on.

  2. Stand the water bottle somewhere flat and wait for the water to stop moving.

  3. Use your marker pen to draw a line around the bottle at the same height as the top of the water.

  4. Place the bottle into the freezer (it will need to be standing up so that the water line and the water level are lined up) and let it freeze. This may take a few hours or even overnight depending on the size of your bottle and your freezer.

  5. Take the frozen bottle out of the freezer and compare how high the ice is to the line from where your water was.

Discussion

  1. Is the ice higher or lower than it was as water? Why do you think this might happen? Do you think it will change back when the ice melts?

  2. Will it take as long to thaw (un-freeze) as it did to freeze?

  3. What could you do to make it thaw faster? Think back to the ice melting in your hand.

  4. What if the water was in a cell instead of a water bottle? What does a banana do when frozen and then thawed out?



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