States of Matter and their Structure Science Games
In this series of games, your students will learn how the states of matter are distinguished. The States of Matter and their Structure learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — delivers improved student engagement and academic performance in your classroom, as demonstrated by research.
Scroll down for a preview of this learning objective’s games and the concepts they drive home.
Atoms and molecules are the particles that make up matter. A substance’s state of matter — solid, liquid, gas, or plasma — depends on how its molecules move and maintain their volume and shape.
Particles are in constant motion, but they interact differently depending on the state of matter.
- Solid – particles stay in contact with each other, vibrating in place but not moving relative to each other, maintaining the solid’s shape and volume.
- Liquid – particles stay in contact, but they are able to move relative to each other. Liquids change shape based on their container, but maintain their volume.
- Gas – particles do not stay in contact, although they can collide. They move quickly relative to each other. Gases expand or contract to fill the available space, meaning they don’t maintain their shape or volume.
A substance’s state of matter is an extrinsic property, meaning it can be changed by its environment. Physical conditions like temperature and pressure affect state of matter.
When a substance changes from solid or liquid to gas, its particles move farther apart, and vice versa. The liquid form of a substance is denser than the gas form, and the solid form is usually denser than the liquid form, although water is an exception to this rule.
A preview of each game in the learning objective is found below.
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