MIT Physics Demo -- Balloons in Liquid Nitrogen

Contributor
MIT techtv
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Phenomenon
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

Reviews

Description

This video shows a set of balloon animals being placed into liquid nitrogen.  The animals’ volume decreases dramatically. Then, the balloon animals are removed from the container and return to their original shape and volume.  Potential driving questions include:

 

  • What conditions changed when the balloons were placed into the liquid nitrogen?  

  • What happened to the arrangement of the particles of gas inside the balloons?  

  • Why are the balloons able to return to their previous volume?  

Alternatively, the teacher can have the students record their own questions as they watch the video clip.  The class could collect and share the questions posed to determine which should be investigated.

Intended Audience

Educator and learner
Educational Level
  • Grade 8
  • Grade 7
  • Grade 6
  • Middle School
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Free access - The right to view and/or download material without financial, registration, or excessive advertising barriers.

Performance Expectations

MS-PS1-4 Develop a model that predicts and describes changes in particle motion, temperature, and state of a pure substance when thermal energy is added or removed.

Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on qualitative molecular-level models of solids, liquids, and gases to show that adding or removing thermal energy increases or decreases kinetic energy of the particles until a change of state occurs. Examples of models could include drawing and diagrams. Examples of particles could include molecules or inert atoms. Examples of pure substances could include water, carbon dioxide, and helium.

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource was not designed to build towards this performance expectation, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
The phenomenon displayed in this video could be used to engage students in wondering about the change in volume of matter that is brought about by a change in temperature. Initial student thinking could be drawn after viewing the video and students could develop some potential investigative questions after watching the video. The teacher could lead the class to develop a driving question for the unit and create a driving question board to capture the student ideas for investigative questions. These methods are described in more detail at www.nextgenstorylines.org/what-are-storylines/

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource was not designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
This phenomenon could be used to elicit student understanding of gas laws prior to an instructional sequence. The initial model would formatively assess the students at the start of the sequence and engage the students in figuring out the reasons behind the phenomenon. Later in the instructional sequence the students could return to this phenomenon to see how their models have changed. Sharing of models among the class could lead students to explanations and additional questions to investigate.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource was not designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Since this phenomenon video shows both cooling and warming of gas particles, students will need to develop an understanding of both to explain the phenomenon. Other demonstrations, activities, and videos can be used along the instructional sequence to show the predictable behavior of particles when there is a change in temperature. The students will need additional lessons/experiences to develop an understanding of how materials change with a variation in pressure.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource was not designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
The teacher should elicit student understanding of what is causing the effect of shrinking balloons. The teacher needs to explicitly ask students about the cause and the effect (macro and micro scale) that is causing the changes shown in the video. The questions could be part of a teacher created probe, an exit ticket, group/class discussion, or other method but they need to be explicitly asked of the students. One way the teacher could include both macro and micro scale is to ask students to create a model to show the change in the substance inside the balloon at both scales.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: - none -

  • Instructional Supports: - none -

  • Monitoring Student Progress: - none -

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: - none -