What does fake snow have in common with diapers and Orbeez? They’re all made of a variation of a superabsorbent polymer (SAP) called sodium polyacrylate. In this holiday/winter-themed lab based activity, students explore the properties of SAPs by making fake snow, playing with Orbeez and seeing how much liquid a diaper can hold. It’s perfect to use as an exciting and educational lab activity right before winter break!
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With what standard does this resource align?
This resource will support students in moving towards the mastery of the Next Generation Science Standards.
NGSS MS-PS1-2: Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.
NGSS MS-PS1-1: Develop models to describe the atomic composition of simple molecules and extended structures.
Disciplinary Core Ideas NGSS MS PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter: Substances are made from different types of atoms, which combine with one another in various ways. Atoms form molecules that range in size from two to thousands of atoms.Solids may be formed from molecules, or they may be extended structures with repeating subunits (e.g., crystals).
Disciplinary Core Ideas NGSS HS PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter: The structure and interactions of matter at the bulk scale are determined by electrical forces within and between atoms.
Disciplinary Core Ideas NGSS HS PS2.B: Types of Interactions: Attraction and repulsion between electric charges at the atomic scale explain the structure, properties, and transformations of matter, as well as the contact forces between material objects. (secondary)
What special materials do I need to order for this lab activity?
How do I use this resource?
This lab based activity works best in small groups; however, you can choose to do any portion of this lab based activity as a demo.
1 student copy of the lab
1 teacher answer key
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