- Can We Make It
- Back to Trash Goes To School
- GRADE LEVELS:
- SUBJECT AREAS: science, math
- CONCEPT: We
can never make something into nothing.
to help us to realize that we cannot make things go away. They
are always there, just in a different form.
- Experiment #1:
apple; pot of moist soil
- Experiment #2: 3 steel cans; can opener
- Experiment #3: water; powdered lemonade; glass and spoon
- Experiment #4: nurses' scale, person
- Experiment #5: newspaper; metal tweezers or tongs; bunson burner
or matches; metal bucket or other fireproof container; bucket
solution, compact, dissolve
Once something is created, it may change form, size, shape, chemistry,
or appearance, but we can never make it go away. We try to make
unwanted items such as garbage go away, but we will see that
although they may disappear in one form, they will still be there.
- Experiment #1:
Fill a pot or other container with
soil, and weigh it.
Cut 1/2 of an apple and weigh it.
Bury the apple in the soil (It is gone.)
Weigh pot with soil and apple.
Did the apple go away? (No, it is just out of sight.)
Weigh 3 steel cans.
Cut the tops and bottoms off and then
flatten the cans.
Weigh the cans again.
Experiment #3: Can we make the
powdered lemonade disappear?
Did the cans go away? (No, they're just smaller.)
Did they lose weight? (No, they just changed shape.)
Take a pitcher of water and weigh it.
Measure out and weigh enough powder
to make a pitcher of lemonade.
Dissolve the powder into the liquid
and stir until it disappears.
Weigh the pitcher of lemonade and compare
to the weight of the pitcher of water.
Experiment #4: If we drink the
lemonade, will it disappear?
Did the powder go away? (The powder is gone, but you can see
from the increased weight of the lemonade compared with plain
water that the ingredients in the powder are still there, but
now in a dissolved form.)
Weigh a person on the nurse's scale.
Weigh a large empty glass, then fill
with lemonade and weigh again.
Weigh a person, have them drink the
glass of lemonade, then weigh them again.
Experiment #5: If we burn something,
does it go away?
NOTE: Be very careful when working with
a flame. The teacher may want to demonstrate this experiment.
Did the person's weight change? (Yes, the person is now heavier
because the weight of the lemonade has been added to their own
Weigh a piece of newspaper.
Hold the newspaper with tongs or tweezers.
Outside, or in a well-ventilated place,
light the paper and let it burn. Have a bucket of water on hand
in case of emergency. Drop the flaming paper into a metal bucket
or other fireproof container.
Collect all of the ash and weigh it.
Discuss the idea of making things go
away. Where is away? We can never get rid of anything completely,
we can just change it from one form to another.
Discuss how this relates to cleaning
up the environment. For example, we can reduce the need for landfills
by incinerating our wastes. But, incineration causes air pollution.
When we remove pollutants from the smoke, we clean up the air,
but we are still left with the pollutants to get rid of as solid
or liquid wastes. Also, the ashes that are left behind must still
be safely disposed of.
Did the paper go away? (Yes, but not really. The elements
in the paper changed form -- some went up in smoke and others
stayed behind in the ash.)
Did the weight change? Why? (The weight decreased because
we didn't measure what went up in smoke.)