The three states of matter are the three distinct forms that matter can take in most environments. For example, water is a LIQUID at room temperature, but it can become a SOLID or a GAS when heat is added or taken away. Have fun with the three states of matter with this super COOL science activity! With just a bit of snow, a pot, and a little bit of heat, you and your little chemist can see the changes that water goes through at varying temperatures.
- Cooking Pot
- Stove Top (Get an adult’s help!)
- Thermometer (optional)
- Plate or Dish (optional)
Put on your gloves and coat and collect some snow (SOLID) for your experiment. How cold does it have to for there to be snow? You can use a thermometer or even your phone’s weather app to record how cold it is outside. Take your snow inside and put it in your cooking pot. Have an adult raise your stovetop’s temperature and watch as the snow melts to water (LIQUID) in the pot. Once the snow is a liquid, turn up the heat on your stove until steam (GAS) begins to rise. Discuss the differences of each state of matter. You can even try the experiment again, but instead of using a pot and stove, place the snow in a plate or shallow dish and measure how long it takes for it to turn to a liquid in room temperature!
- What did you observe as the snow melted to water? How long did it take?
- What did you observe as the water turned to steam? How long did it take?
- Using the thermometer – Can you tell what temperature your water melted at? What about what temperature it turned to a gas?