This experiment demonstrates that as water changes from a liquid to a solid, its density decreases by comparing the level of water in a cup before and after freezing.
In addition to the experiment, students will engage in a class discussion that gauges prior knowledge, analyze the experiment's results, and record their findings in a journal.
This experiment is relatively easy to administer.
This experiment does not involve any dangerous chemicals.
Students should already know the states of matter, as well as the terms density and volume.
Teachers should click the "Jump to this Activity" button in the upper right-hand corner to access the experiment's instructions.
The Ice Investigator Journal is better suited for older students to use independently. Younger students can use it with the help of an adult, sentence stems, or dictation.
This experiment pairs well with a lesson on sea ice cover, what's happening to it globally, and why it matters.
Teachers can use this experiment as a conceptual introduction to the molecular structures of different states of matter.
This experiment can supplement a classroom discussion about the state change that occurs when water boils.
This experiment can enhance a classroom discussion on common state changes that happen in nature.
This resource is from the CLEAN collection. “The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness.”
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
ESS2: Earth's Systems
2-ESS2-3 Obtain information to identify where water is found on Earth and that it can be solid or liquid.
PS1: Matter and its Interactions
5-PS1-2 Measure and graph quantities to provide evidence that regardless of the type of change that occurs when heating, cooling, or mixing substances, the total weight of matter is conserved.
5-PS1-3 Make observations and measurements to identify materials based on their properties.
Common Core Math Standards (CCSS.MATH)
Measurement & Data (K-5)
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.MD.A.2 Directly compare two objects with a measurable attribute in common, to see which object has "more of"/"less of" the attribute, and describe the difference. For example, directly compare the heights of two children and describe one child as taller/shorter.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.MD.A.2 Measure and estimate liquid volumes and masses of objects using standard units of grams (g), kilograms (kg), and liters (l). Add, subtract, multiply, or divide to solve one-step word problems involving masses or volumes that are given in the same units, e.g., by using drawings (such as a beaker with a measurement scale) to represent the problem.