Tried and True: It's a gas! An exploration of the physical nature of gasesby: Troy D. Sadler, Teresa M. Eckart, Jennifer E. Lewis, and Katherine M. Whitley

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Gases present something of a paradox for the casual observer--they are everywhere and yet, it remains difficult to see them anywhere. This instructional sequence engages middle school students in the inquiry process, enabling them to develop more robust conceptualizations of gases and their properties. Presented in this article are three activities structured as a series of exploratory, hands-on exercises and demonstrations, ordered so that they build upon one another.

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Reviews (2)
  • on Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:04 PM

Three great hands-on activities that demonstrate some properties of gases are shown in this article. Because most gases are invisible, it is hard for students to study them and conceptualize the properties of gases. However, seeing is believing. I especially like the third activity as it uses a variety of different methods to reach the same result. For teachers unfamiliar with the demo though more explanation such be included. Students are required to make observations and then interpret those observations in order to explain how gases behave. While these activities are intended for a middle school audience, they would definitely be appropriate for freshman in high school as well.

Ruth Hutson  (Westmoreland, KS)
Ruth Hutson (Westmoreland, KS)

  • on Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:09 AM

The authors of this article describe a sequence of three activities that allow for student inquiry and provide a sound conceptual understanding of the physical characteristics of gases. In this case the gases cannot be seen. The first two students perform and the last one is a demo. After reading the article several times I believe that the authors should have explained the significance of the different heights of the candles and an explanation as to why the tallest flame goes out first in the first demo.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

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