learningscience.org   About Us   Tool Examples   Report a Link?(Good or Bad!)   Search   Teacher Comments   Do a Demo?   Credits  Tech Help


Properties and Changes of Properties in Matter (5-8)

* A substance has characteristic properties, such as density, a boiling point, and solubility.   * Substances react chemically in characteristic ways with other substances to form new substances (compounds) with different properties. In chemical reactions mass is conserved.   * Chemical elements do not break down during normal laboratory reactions. There are more than 100 known elements and they can be found on the periodic table of elements. ( NSES, 1996)

In the rectangle above, you will find the fundamental concepts and principles that underlie this standard. Below you will find a list of recommended "learning tools" for this standard. All links are in yellow, just click the link. Numbers are for reference only. Use our "Tell a Friend" feature, at the bottom,  to send this page to a friend!


This "learning tool" is called WebElements. There are lots of periodic charts out on the web, but this one is one of the best. ScientificAmerican.com has selected the WebElements web site as a winner of the 2002 Sci/Tech Web Awards.

2 This "learning tool" is called The Origin of the Periodic Table. Contained within this lesson is one of the best interactive periodic table called David's Whizzy Periodic Table. This comes to us from a great site called Physics 2000, this site is w wonderful example of how powerful the web can be for learning. This web site is brought to us by the University of Colorado at Boulder. The Periodic Chart pops up as the applet and takes a little while to load.

3 PhET continues to amaze us! The name of this learning tool is Build an Atom. Build an atom out of protons, neutrons, and electrons, and see how the element, charge, and mass change. Then play a game to test your ideas! This can be used for concept introduction and review. If you have Java, just click on RUN NOW. The main PhET site can be found here.

4 This learning tool is called Density and has been produced by the incredible people at the PhET web site. Discover the relationship between mass, volume and density by weighing and submerging various materials under water. Do objects like aluminum, Styrofoam, and wood float or sink? Can you identify all the mystery objects by weighing them and submerging them underwater to measure their volumes?  Visit PhET for more great science simulations!

5 The name of this "learning tool" is called Reversible and Irreversible Changes. Use the blue arrows in the upper right hand corner to go through the simulation. This tool has been developed by the bbc.co.uk and their Science Clips program. These are very clear, concise, and effective lessons for young students. Flash is required.

6 The name of this learning tool is Reactions and Rates. Find out what affects the rate of a reaction. Do experiments, collect data, and then calculate rate coefficients. Play with different reactions, concentrations, and energy.  This is a Java applet, just click RUN NOW under the picture. This tool is brought to us by The PhET Project and made possible by the Kavli Operating Institute

7 This "learning tool" does a great job of allowing student to conceptually understand Balancing Chemical Equations. Four representative equations (combination, single replacement, decomposition, and double replacement) are presented. One of the most innovative science education companies is Explorelearning.com, they call their simulations, Gizmos. They are a subscription site, but they allow you to see this Gizmo for 5 minutes Shockwave is required.

8 Kitchen Chaos is a “learning tool” brought to us by Science Year. The chef has muddled his cooking ingredients. Using the clues provided, students work on each test tube containing an unknown substance in order to identify the contents. 

9 On Fire is a “learning tool” by NOVA This tool lets students explore the basics of combustion, including how a fire ignites, how a molecule's atoms rearrange themselves during combustion, and what a flame is made of.

10 The name of this "learning tool" is called Strange Matter. With this interactive introduction to material science students can explore matter by Zooming into Stuff, Transforming Stuff, Crushing Stuff, and Improving Stuff. A clever and fun tool from the Ontario Science Center.


The name of this wonderful learning tool is Salts and Solubility. This is a Java applet, just click RUN NOW under the picture. Add different salts to water, then watch them dissolve and achieve a dynamic equilibrium with solid precipitate. Compare the number of ions in solution for highly soluble NaCl to other slightly soluble salts. Relate the charges on ions to the number of ions in the formula of a salt. Calculate Ksp values. This tool is brought to us by The PhET Project and made possible by the Kavli Operating Institute

12 The GEMS Alien Juice Bar is a neat "learning tool" that helps students learn the basic properties of acids and bases. Students get to test various juices with cabbage juice indicator to find out whether they are acid, base, or neutral. GEMS stands for Great Explorations in Math and Science and is a project of the Lawrence Hall of Science.

13 This elegant and clear "learning tool" is called The Buoyancy Explorer. Does it float or sink? Use this virtual experiment to try different solids and liquids. Guess what will happen. Then drop the blocks into the liquids and see for yourself. This interactive was developed by the Schlumberger Excellence in Educational Development group. Be sure to visit their other interactives at their Science Lab.  

14 This well done and elegant example of a "learning tool" is called Got Gas? (Electrolysis). In this interactive lesson from TryScience, students create a circuit to break down water and then they are able to explore even more with clever extensions like switching wires and increasing voltage. TryScience is a tremendous site to share the wonder of science.

15 The Periodic Table of Comic Books is a great "learning tool". It was developed by the Chemistry Department of the University of Kentucky. Start with Oxygen as a primer to this fun site. Great way to engage students.

16 The name of this "learning tool" is called Viscosity Explorer. Students drop 2 steel balls into liquids of their choice and they can also change the temperature to see the effect on the rate of fall. This interactive was developed by the Schlumberger Excellence in Educational Development group. Be sure to visit their other interactives at their Science Lab.  

This incredible learning tool is called States of Matter and comes to us from the incomparable web site called PhET. Watch different types of molecules form a solid, liquid, or gas. Add or remove heat and watch the phase change. Change the temperature or volume of a container and see a pressure-temperature diagram respond in real time. Relate the interaction potential to the forces between molecules. A great learning tool! Thanks to all at PhET.


 This elegant and creative learning tool is called The Scale of the Universe. When you get to the site just click the "Start" button to enter this mind boggling tool that will help your students gain perspective on their world and the worlds that they cannot see. This wonderful tool was created my Cary and Mike Huang. More of their really fun and sophisticated work can be found at www.htwins.net .




Tell a friend: