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Could we survive without water?

In our States of Matter topic Year 4 will be investigating whether we could survive without water.  The children will explore the properties of the three key states: solid, liquid and gas. They will use scientific language and equipment like thermometers.  The class will work independently and in groups to set up enquiries about matter changing from one state to another.

Year 4 have been exploring the concept of evaporation and condensation.  They carried out a number of experiments, including 'The case of the mystery puddle' to explore how liquid particles behave when heated and cooled.  
As part of our topic Year 4 warmly welcomed Dr Gill Smart, a scientist from the University of Bolton.  Dr Smart showed us different types of solids, liquids and gases before demonstrating an experiment with polymers in nappies.  When Dr Smart added the polymers to water the mixture began to change state into a gel like solution.  The children then went on to undertake a chocolate experiment.  They had to make predictions about what would happen to the chocolate block when left on the tongue.  All of the children predicted it would dissolve, but then they had to describe why that would be the case.
To support our understanding of different states and particles Year 4 have turned to the botanist, Robert Brown.  The class carried out an experiment to observe what happens to particles when heated.  They filled two cups with water, one warm and one cold and placed two drops of dye in each.  The children examined both cups, observing which droplets of dye met first.  It was clearly evident that the dye in the warm water mixed quicker.  This was due to the particles having more energy and moving more rapidly.
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This week Year 4 have been examining temperatures of different objects and learning how to use a thermometer to take temperature readings.
To support our understanding of different states, Year 4 explored how particles behave in solid, liquid and gas form.  They worked in groups to perform how particles behave and then represented them in picture form.  

To build up our understanding of states, Year 4 examined everyday objects and grouped them into different states.  The children looked at solids like flour, sugar and rice and took part in a lengthy discussion as to whether they were liquids as could be poured.  This sparked a fantastic discussion on the properties of solid objects.


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