10 Sept. Science 8 Beginning summative project #1 for the Study of Matter

  1. Mindful moment.
  2. Review DSN entry from previous class.
  3. Preview blogpost for today.
  4. Open new document for DSN entry for today. Be sure to include the link to today’s class blogpost.
  5. Your questions.

See excerpt below from Chemistry: Concepts and Applications (2011) by Steven S. Zumdahl, professor of chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The graph looks like several we saw in class from 8th grade data. Even though this is a university level textbook, you should be able to understand something of the ideas that are expressed and can interpret the graph that is shown!

  • * * * *

Carefully observe the demonstration.

  • Step 1. Replicate the demonstration.
  • Step 2. Share your results. (5 minutes)
  • Enter your data on the class spreadsheet.
  • https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1bzZPhyTpZdvcdJaVzmk45MfGE1uYbqRw8Li6-N2nctk/edit?usp=sharing
  • Step 3. Develop an explanation with your partner.
  • Step 4. Share proposed explanations. Enter basic outline of idea on this spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/14h84BHv4LqLAIvNNSyUljkzI84Y0Om0gdPGQPyCbtCw/edit?usp=sharing
  • Discuss in large group.
  • Step 5. Design a two part investigation–
  • 1. Test(s) of explanation(s)
  • 2. Further investigation of some aspect of phenomena–mixing ethanol and water (carefully review the Assessment Project description below–see the sample report by a previous Science 8 class)
  • Step 6. Consult with Dr. F  before conducting any procedure.
  • During any time you are waiting–and before the next class–carefully review the Assessment Project description–below. Be sure to see the sample report by a previous Science 8 class.


Structure and Properties of Matter Summative Assessment

Science 8 1819

  1.    Students design and carry out an investigation based on the puzzle that mixing 50 ml ethanol and 50 ml water results in less than 100 ml solution.
  2.    The investigation focuses on a test(s) of a student proposed explanation and further exploration of the mixing phenomenon.
  3.    Both quantitative and qualitative data are collected and analyzed.
  4.    Analysis and interpretation of data include scientific argument to support, challenge, or rule out the proposed explanation and also make reference to the atomic-molecular theory.
  5.    A report of specified format will be submitted.

Learning standards to be assessed:

Science and Engineering practices:

  1.     Asking questions and using models.
  2.     Developing and using models.
  3.     Planning and carrying out investigations.
  4.     Analyzing and interpreting data.
  5.     Using mathematics and computational thinking.
  6.     Constructing explanations and designing solutions.
  7.     Engaging in argument from evidence.
  8.     Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

  1.     Structure and Properties of Matter.

A more detailed description:

(This assessment was developed collaboratively with Science 8 Students from 2015-2016)

The Central Puzzle

< 50 ml water + 50 ml ethanol does not equal 100 ml mixture >

This puzzle has been demonstrated and replicated by students in the classes leading up to the assessment. Explanations have been proposed and discussed, but not tested.

Due beginning of the 4th class period ___________

Printed written report.


Electronic version loaded according to class procedures..



Conduct an investigation (see below) and write a report in the specified format. You may work with a partner to gather data and discuss, BUT the assessment report must be individual. You may share data tables but everything else must be original (including graphs).

Stage 1

Think of a way to test any of the proposed explanations for the “vanishing volume” when mixing ethanol and water.

Explain the result you expect and why.

Stage 2

Develop and carry out a procedure that tests the proposed explanation. Be sure the procedure involves good technique (careful measurement, fair tests, control of variables, sufficient trials, etc).

Stage 3

Present results in an organized fashion (tables and graphs). You may make tables available to other class members and other classes—before report is complete. 

Stage 4

Analyze your results (and other students’ results that are relevant to your question and your claim). In what ways do the results (already obtained from classes in the past and those that you obtain) provide support for or challenge any explanation that you have proposed? Spell out your argument with evidence. In what way does your explanation involve the atomic-molecular theory of matter?

Stage 5

This is part 2 of the project. Think of an aspect of the phenomena associated with mixing water and ethanol that you want to investigate. Form a question (or family of questions) that expresses your idea.

Stage 6

Write what you expect the answers to your questions to be and why you think this.

Stage 7

Develop and carry out a procedure to explore your questions.

Stage 8

Present your results clearly.

Stage 9.

Analyze the results.


Write the report with this format—using the following headings:


What you have already done before the investigation; What you already know or think you know related to the investigation. This would include what you have learned about matter and the atomic theory of matter BEFORE this project. This includes everything in this class leading up to the project.

Question (part 1)

Expressed in such a way that the direction of investigation is apparent.

Expectation (part 1)

What you think the answer(s) to your question will be and why you think this

Procedure (part 1) (past tense; first and/or third person account of what you did to acquire and analyze the data)(some pictures and sketches can help make a procedure clear)

You will need procedures for replicating the demonstration, testing the explanation, exploring a newly observed aspect of the phenomena.

Results (part 1)—Data, tables, calculations, graphs, pictures, sketches, anecdotal observations

Analysis (part 1)—Provide a thorough discussion of data and explain how they relate to question; describe with examples any patterns seen in the data; explain  how the data support or challenge any claims; explain links to the atomic-molecular theory of matter

Background (part 2). What has caught your interest during part 1? Why do you find it interesting?

Question (part 2)

Expectation (part 2)

Procedure (part 2)

Analysis (part 2)

Conclusion-Summary statement of findings (brief) for parts 1 and 2.  New questions and proposed procedures.

A commentary/reflection will be assigned separately.

Meeting means:

Some aspects of the phenomena are explored.

Clear relationship is drawn between data and claims.

Sufficient relevant data are gathered.

Science and engineering practices (careful measurement; repeated trials; control of variables; graphing guidelines; etc.) are demonstrated.

Data / patterns in the data are explained.

Explanations explicitly address the atomic-molecular theory of matter.

Explanations are tested where possible. Tests of explanations are proposed.

Report is comparable in detail and quality to that shown in exemplar:


Applicable standards:

Science and Engineering practices:

  1.     Asking questions and using models.
  2.     Developing and using models.
  3.     Planning and carrying out investigations.
  4.     Analyzing and interpreting data.
  5.     Using mathematics and computational thinking.
  6.     Constructing explanations and designing solutions.
  7.     Engaging in argument from evidence.
  8.     Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information.

Cross-cutting concepts 1,2,3,5,6.

  1.     Patterns.
  2.     Cause and Effect.
  3.     Scale, Proportion, and Quantity.
  4.     Energy and Matter.
  5.     Structure and Function.
  6.     Stability and Change.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

  1.     Structure and Properties of Matter.


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