This fall we’ve been studying the states of matter and changes of matter. Today I’m going to share some of our activities as we talked about the changes in states of matter from solid to gas–sublimation and from gas to solid–deposition. It was a day of Dry Ice FUN!! 🙂
While most kids know freezing, melting and evaporation sublimation and deposition are a bit more challenging, that is – until you bring in a huge chunk of dry ice!!
Warning: Always wear gloves when handling dry ice! it is MINUS 109 deg F. That’s cold enough to give you frost bite!
You’ll need a hammer to break the ice into smaller chunks.
I purchased a block of dry ice from the grocery story. It’s held in a separate freezer, so just ask at your local supermarket. Most chains carry it. I brought a small ice chest to put it in.
I wanted to start off with excitement… and had the kids working quietly in the homeschool room. I then tossed a chunk of dry ice in the toilet. I holler out, “Everyone, come quick!! What’s going on…” Then when they were all peering into the toilet bowl, I said… “Whoa… I think it’s sublimation!! Sublimation everyone! Sublimation.” My son was quick to explain to the others “It’s dry ice!!”
So… my picture didn’t turn out very well, but you get the idea!!
Then we went outside where I had everything set up.
Next, the kids poured water into the bowl with the dry ice. That definitely led to a lot of “Wows” and “Ohhs and Ahhs!”
They noticed that the coins then had frost accumulate on top; this is deposition. Solids form on the coin as the humid air is cooled. The coin was soon covered in frost!
We added chips of dry ice to a water bottle and then added some warm water. We placed a balloon on the top of the bottle. The balloon inflated as carbon dioxide was released. We got distract by other things and were all pretty surprised when the balloon popped!!
Our last activity was to add some dry ice to apple juice. The kids wanted to know why we were doing that. They wondered it was just to watch the apple juice bubbling. I had them wait (and wait) and teased them by saying, “okay, now watch” as the last bit of dry ice melted. “What?! That’s IT?!” they asked, outraged. “Yup,” I said and took a sip. When their dry ice finally melted, they were caught completely by surprise that it was carbonated!!
The next day, we talked more about the changes in states of matter and did a couple of activities for our notebook pages. These are included in our States of Matter Packet. 🙂
You might also be interested in the other posts from this unit:
- States of Matter: Hands-On Activities about Gases
- States of Matter: Hands-On Activities about Liquids
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.
Other chemistry posts that may be of interest:
- Chemistry Experiments for Kids (Grade 2) – Matter is Neither Created Nor Destroyed — Acids and Bases
Don’t miss our FREE chemistry packet from last year:
- Chemistry Experiments for Kids (Grade 2) – Mixtures, Chromatography, DNA Kit
- Chemistry Unit: Periodic Table – The chemistry unit we did last year as we learned about the main groups of the periodic table
- Alkali Metals — reactive
- Alkaline Earth Metals
- Noble Gases
- Chemistry Unit: Bohr Diagrams (this post has a free printable)
- Explosion of Colors in Milk Experiment and Other Chemistry Fun!
- Chemistry Unit: The Size of Atoms
- States of Matter: Solid, Liquid, Gas — Learning Activities
- Chemistry: Molecule Movement Experiment and Chemistry Review Worksheet These notebook pages are free.
- Science Experiments: Water Molecule Attraction
- Building Molecules Chemistry Activity This also has some free notebook pages about building molecules: