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Vermilion Parish Schools

Activity 8: The Solid to Liquid Race (GLEs:  2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 15)

Materials List:  ice cubes, resealable plastic bags, thermometers, science learning logs, Solids to Liquids Race BLM

Facilitate a discussion of materials that change from one state of matter to another (e.g., cake batter into cake, jello, boiling water into steam).  Discuss what causes these materials to change from one state of matter to another (exposure to heat or cold).

Investigation Task:  Working in small groups, the students should work together to melt an ice cube in a baggie (without breaking it) at the fastest rate. Create a set of rules with the students as to what can or cannot be done to melt the ice cube.  Review safety procedures.  Each group should come up with a plan to melt their ice cube.  Have students measure and compare the temperature of the cube inside of the resealable plastic bags, in Fahrenheit and Celsius, before starting the race and the liquid inside of the bag when the race is over. Time can also be measured by marking the beginning time of the race and the completion time of each group.  The class can then compare the differences in the time each group took to complete the task. 

Students can record the results of their investigation, including the method used to melt the ice cube, in their science learning log (view literacy strategy descriptions) .

This investigation task can be used as an assessment. See sample rubric, The Solid to Liquid Race BLM.

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