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PBL: Determining the identity of unknown samples of matter

Friday, January 23, 2015


Matter and Chemistry of Water

  • What makes an object a solid, liquid, or gas? - Focus on the properties of water in all three states.
  • What makes up matter? - Parts and structure of an atom; elements, organization of Periodic Table; chemical formulas, chemical compounds, chemical reactions/equations
  • What are the properties of matter? – Focus on the unique qualities of water
  • How do scientists identify the identity of unknown substances?
Determining the identity of unknown samples of matter.
Ms. Bright recently discovered several objects around Falling Creek Middle School early one morning before school. She is very concerned about these objects because she doesn't know whether they could be dangerous or if they could have special properties. Mrs. Knowles has asked her for help in identifying what these objects are to know whether she needs to send in a special team to remove them or if they are worth lots of money! She has stated that if they have special properties or are worth money then Falling Creek Middle will get to keep some of the money for a fun holiday celebration. Mrs. Knowles has trusted the 6th grade science students with this task because she knows they are starting their unit on matter. Let's use our skills and knowledge to help Falling Creek and make sure nobody gets sick or better yet, let's get some extra money for the school!
Culminating Activity
Students will design an experiment to test the unknown substance and present their design and findings to Mrs. Knowles for her approval.
Problem Question
How can we determine the identity of an unknown object found in the front field?
Student Role

Students will be geologists who are working to identify the whether the unknown objects are safe for the school to keep.

download.jpgFalling Creek - 6th - Matter PBL Unit Overview.pdf

Question Map:


download.jpgFalling Creek - 6th - Matter PBL Unit Question Map.pdf

Created by Falling Creek Elementary.

by Chris Mystkowski at 2:43 PM in Elementary, Physical Science, Problem Based Learning/PBL
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