Innovating Science® - STEM INVESTIGATIONS: Make Your Own Liquid Crystal Thermometer

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Manufacturer ID - IS3454

Students will learn about acids and bases through a class discussion and then test a dilute acid and dilute base with neutral litmus paper to learn how the paper indicates something is acidic or basic. Once that skill is learned they can move on to test some common items that would be found around their house to determine if they are acids or bases. Optional: Extra litmus paper is included to test more items either from home or around the school building for a greater understanding of acids and bases. The activity contains enough materials for 6 groups of students.

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Students explore materials science and engineering while learning about an interesting state of matter: liquid crystals. Liquid crystals have an ordered structure like a solid, but are also fluid like a liquid. The molecular-level structure of a liquid crystal can be affected by changes in its environment, such as electric field or temperature, which can lead to changes in its macroscopic properties, such as color. In this experiment, students mix three chemicals in different ratios to form four different liquid crystal mixtures that are sensitive to temperature.

Working in groups, students will determine the working temperature range for each of the four liquid crystal mixtures. As an engineering challenge, the students will then use the information they have gathered to design and construct a thermometer using their liquid crystals. Through this kit, students will gain an understanding of liquid crystals and how they can be used in a variety of everyday technologies. Kit contains enough materials for 8 groups. Teacher's Manual and Student Study Guide copy masters are included.

Aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)*
Disciplinary Core Ideas: ETS1.C
Performance Expectations: HS-PS2-6; HS-ETS1-2
Cross Cutting Concepts: Structure and Function
Engineering Practices: Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information; Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Kit Includes:
5 g Cholesteryl Oleyl Carbonate
5 g Cholesteryl Pelargonate
5 g Cholesteryl Benzoate
8 Dram Vials with Caps
90 Clear Labels
8 Plastic Forceps
16 Black Index Card, 4"x 6"

DOT Info:

*"Next Generation Science Standards" is a registered trademark of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards was involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.
Brand Name
Innovating Science®
Performance Expectations 5-PS1-3
Cross Cutting Concepts Cause and Effect
Scale, Proportion, and Quantity
Engineering Practices Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
Box Used 12663SBOX
Width (in) 6.25
Height (in) 4
Weight (oz) 19.9
Weight (lb) 1.24
Country of Origin US
Harmonization Code 9023.00.0000
DOT Description Non regulated

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