This is a set of packaged lesson materials for middle school, developed specifically to accompany the PhET simulation States of Matter. It gives explicit directions for using the simulation to explore the molecular structure of neon, oxygen, argon, and water in the three primary phases. The student guide gives just the right amount of guidance to help students discover how temperature and pressure inside a closed container affect the behavior of the molecules in different states (solid, liquid, and gas). The simulation was designed to help students visualize a molecular model of the primary states of matter. In subsequent studies, it can be used to extend the model to phase changes and build understanding of how forces on atoms affect their interaction potential. The "States of Matter" simulation, which must be open and displayed to complete this activity, is available from PhET at: States of Matter. This resource is part of PhET (Physics Education Technology Project), a large collection of free interactive simulations for science education.


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