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Infant Incubator Lesson 11

How does temperature impact particle motion?

Student Sheet 

Teacher Answers 

Estimated class Time:

One 40-minute class period


What do we know about babies?


  • large paper to record class models 
  • optional internet access


Lesson Level Learning Objectives:

  • MS PS 1-1: Developing and using models to show the spacing of the atoms and molecules in water in different states. (structure and function)



  • How can water be a solid, liquid or gas and remain the same chemically?  What is happening?
  • Students complete individual models and share in small groups to discuss similarities and differences.  Then, create class consensus models and students record on their sheet. A Phet simulation may be used to reinforce the idea of molecular spacing and movement at different temperatures. Students examine the manner in which thermometers operate and measure kinetic energy.

What we Figured Out: 

  • We learned about solids, liquids and gases. 
  • In a solid, the molecules are spaced close and in a repeating pattern. they don’t move a lot.
  • In a liquid, the molecules are spaced close together and flow past each other.
  • In a gas the molecules move everywhere and are spaced far apart.
  • Hot molecules will move fast and spread out.
  • Cold molecules will move slow and clump together.
  • Thermometers work based on kinetic energy.  
  • The more kinetic energy the molecules have, the higher the temperature. When there is less kinetic energy the temperature will be lower.

Questions we still have:

  • How does this relate to incubators?
  • Can substances go from solid to gas without being liquid?


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