Sophomores Investigate Volcanoes and States of Matter
This week Sophomore chemistry students at Roberto Clemente Community Academy were introduced to a new unit where they will study how the form of natural and human landscapes and resources are changed by transfer. They started the week off by investigating volcanoes that exist around the world and their states of matter. Although volcanic eruptions are not a concern in Chicago or Humboldt Park, they are a major concern around the world. Just as recently as February 5th, two of Mexico’s volcanoes – Colima and Popocatepeti – erupted more than 60 times in a 24-hour period. Those eruptions caused ash and gas to be released into the surrounding area. Although these eruptions are not particularly dangerous and do not require evacuations, other volcanic eruptions can have disastrous consequences.
In order to better understand volcanoes, students created their own model volcanoes to compare, and found that although they are vastly different, both undergo three states of matter: solid, liquid, and gas. Students investigated further by observing changes of state as water was heated from below its freezing point to its boiling point. They then used their data and observations to draw conclusions about the relationships among state, temperature, change in kinetic and potential energy, and energy absorbed from a heating device.
Students will continue this unit investigating states of matter as well as various natural and human landscapes. As a summative assessment for the unit, students will research a natural landscape and complete a presentation where they will share their knowledge with their classmates.