Cultivating Collaboration

Grade 6 students have been inquiring into the concept of change. This week, we spent time finding out how thermometers work and identified signs of a chemical change.

Students built model thermometers and applied heat to the outside of the conical flask, this caused the water level in the straw to expand and rise. Students then removed heat by placing the conical flask into a beaker and the water in the straw contracted and the water level dropped. They found out that adding and removing heat affects the distance between the particles in a liquid.

We turned up the heat for the next activity, literally, to 140 degrees Celsius! Students mixed together; sugar, corn syrup, cream of tartar, food colouring and water and boiled it using a hot plate, for 20 minutes. As the mixture increased in temperature, the sugar started to caramelize and it changed colour.  The end result – stained glass sugar! The key focus for this activity was on developing group work skills whilst working in the laboratory. It was a joy to see students communicating ideas, distributing roles, showing leadership and working safely and effectively in the laboratory.

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