Elementary School

Matter, particles, density

See density in action by creating a rainbow in a tube! Understand how each solution is made of particles too small to be seen!


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Learning Objectives

Students will know

  • Matter
  • Density

Students will understand

  • Matter is made of particles too small to be seen.
  • The more matter in a sample, the denser it is.

Students will be able to

  • Create solutions of different densities and see them layered in a clear straw/tube.
  • Use a model to describe the particles in each of the solutions
Standards Alignment + Connections

Next Generation Science Standards Connections

5-PS1-1: Develop a model to describe that matter is made of particles too small to be seen.

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills Connections

5.5A: Classify matter based on measurable, testable, and observable physical properties, including mass, magnetism, physical state (solid, liquid, and gas), relative density (sinking and floating using water as a reference point), solubility in water, and the ability to conduct or insulate thermal energy or electric energy.

How to Run the Experiment

Materials You Will Need

  • 4 cups of the same size
  • Warm water
  • 1.25 cups sugar
  • Tablespoon measure
  • Clear straw or tube
  • Red, yellow, blue, and green food coloring
  • Spoon or stirring utensil

Additional Resources