Root beer floats may sound appropriate for snack time, but in one second grade class, the delicious treats reinforced a unit of study on states of matter. Students in Amanda McCarthy’s class at Ann MacArthur Primary School were told they were doing an experiment using three states of matter. However, when each student was given only a small cup of ice cream and a small cup of root beer, they realized they only had two states of matter.
The young scientists went into a round of “think, pair, share,” working together to predict what the third state of matter could be. Identifying the root beer as liquid and the ice cream as solid, they followed the steps of the scientific method to discover that combining them into an ice cream float would create gas – and a yummy reward for their hard work!