Ample use of liquid nitrogen and dry ice was a winning outreach strategy employed by CNBP Research Fellow, Alf Garcia-Bennett in his attempt to demonstrate to Year 1 school children, the differing states of matter.
In an hour long presentation to approximately 25 young students at Cammeray Public School in Sydney, Garcia-Bennett used these substances to demonstrate changes from liquids and solids to gas.
The changing properties of matter due to temperature was also demonstrated with the cooling of a piece of rubber to liquid nitrogen temperatures, where it was made brittle instead of flexible.
According to Garcia-Bennett, “The children had a lot of fun understanding the scale of matter from the size of a human hair to the size of atoms. They were also curious and surprisingly aware of concepts like particles and atoms. They particularly enjoyed the bubbles created by dry ice in contact with water and learnt how gases can be trapped within bubbles”.
Summing up the experience, Garcia-Bennett concluded, “It was a fun day with more outreach demonstrations to come in the future”.