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Fairfield scientists ask, What’s the matter?

Fifth graders are beginning a study of matter in which they will delve deep into the properties of solids, liquids and gases over the next several weeks at Fairfield Elementary School.

As an introductory activity in the conservation of matter unit, the young scientists made charts that depicted the differences of the three states. On a piece of paper, each student drew three circles and filled them in with dots of model magic. The circle for solid matter was almost full, with the dots close together, while the circle for gas had the fewest dots, spread far apart. Magnet and STEAM teacher Jennifer Tand said that this represented the spacing of particles in the different states of matter.

Students also explored the impact of temperature on liquid. In two beakers, one with cold water and one with hot water, they added food coloring and watched how it dispersed quicker in the warmer water.

In the coming weeks, students will do several hands-on experiments in which they will make matter, measure matter and explore a mystery matter. With the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, the projects will be done in teams in Fairfield’s science lab.