From Solid to Liquid: Will Weight Remain the Same?

Our fifth grade students have been studying matter, which led to the question:

“When matter changes states, will its weight remain the same?”

This was the first time Ms. Nicole’s students explored conversion of matter; most students hypothesized that the matter would weigh either more or less and not many thought it would weigh the same. Ms. Nicole says the actual result was quite shocking to most students.

Students set out to answer their question. They changed a solid – ice – to a liquid – water – when they melted the ice. Students used electronic scales to measure the weight of the ice and then the weight of the water once the same piece of ice melted. Our middle school graciously loaned the scales to our fifth graders.

The answer? The majority of the results showed that the weight for the water as a solid then turned into a liquid did remain the same.

Fifth grade teacher Ms. Nicole says that a few measurements came out slightly differently due to variables such as water spilling or evaporation. One measurement resulted in a one-gram difference when the ice was converted to liquid, and Ms. Nicole thinks that it is potentially due to air bubbles in the ice.

Excellent job on your experiment, fifth grade students!