States of Matter: Solids, Liquids, Gases, & Beyond 

Target Audience
  • Students
Hosting Center(s)
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Kennedy Space Center
Subject Category
  • Physical Science
Unit Correlation
  • Exploring Engineering and Technology
Grade Level
  • 05-08
  • 09-12
Minimum Delivery Time
  • 030 min(s)
Maximum Connection Time
  • 050 min(s)

Event Focus


What states of matter does NASA encounter? NASA takes states of matter to the extreme.



This module is appropriate for video conference AND web conference presentation.


NASA scientists and engineers utilize the basic principles of the states of matter on a daily basis. The states and properties of matter are very important to the design and construction of NASA spacecraft.


Participants in this DLN event explore the states of matter and discover the extreme cases NASA encounters.


Download Lesson Plan       





Instructional Objectives




Learners will compare and contrast the states of matter.


Learners will explore properties of matter.


Learners will explain phase changes.


Learners will encounter the extreme cases of states of matter.


Learners will synthesize their own questions regarding states of matter.


Sequence of Events


Pre-Conference Activities


Students can take a pre-assessment quiz (see lesson plan link above). This quiz reveals students' preconceptions about the key concepts and sets the stage for the videoconference.


Videoconference Activities


Students will have continual interaction with the presenter as he/she refers back to the pre-assessment quiz. Student preconceptions are revisited and explained through a series of interactive science demonstrations. Students' interactions govern the direction of the event through guided Inquiry.


Post-Conference Activities


Students revisit their pre-conceptions by taking the post-assessment quiz (see . Students can take the quiz online or teachers can print out and make copies.


Students are encouraged to develop new questions based on the videoconference and explore them.




National Science Education Standards




Physical Science


Content Standard B: Properties and Changes of Properties in Matter.


A substance has characteristic properties, such as density, a boiling point, all of which are independent of the amount of the sample.


Content Standard B: Transfer of Energy


Heat moves in predictable ways, flowing from warmer objects to cooler ones, until both reach the same temperature.




Physical Science


Content Standard B: Structure and Properties of Matter


Solids, liquids, and gases differ in the distances and angles between molecules or atoms and therefore the energy that binds them together. In solids the structure is nearly rigid; in liquids molecules or atoms move around each other but do not move apart; and in gases molecules or atoms move almost independently of each other and are mostly far apart.


Content Standard B: Conservation of Energy and the Increase in Disorder


Heat consists of random motion and the vibrations of atoms, molecules, and ions. The higher the temperature, the greater the atomic or molecular motion.

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Page Last Updated: August 29th, 2014
Page Editor: NASA Administrator