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Fun Facts About Matter, Particles, Living Things and Density

Updated on May 5, 2014

Hello and welcome to this hub! You may want to teach kids some basic concepts of science or you might want to learn some yourself. Science is a very complex world and covers so many areas ranging from chemistry, biology, zoology, physics, mathematics and computing to name just a few. A lot of kids and students think that science is boring, difficult, time consuming or 'nerdy'. It can be if you don't know where to start but if you learn some easy concepts first, you can be well on your way to understanding more advanced science. In this hub, I'll be explaining some easy to grasp science concepts that will build a foundation for more complex science. Or, you can use these mini 'bites' to teach science to kids that will find it fun, refreshing and highly interesting. First of all, we will begin with chemistry and delve into the world of matter.

Matter can condensate into cloud.
Matter can condensate into cloud. | Source

Matter

Everything around us is made of matter. Matter is the thing that every thing, person and object is made of. Stars, air, people, books and sand all have one thing in common. What is it? They are all made up of matter. However, the question you may ask is: What is matter? Well, matter is made up of tiny particles called 'atoms'. They are so small that you would find 1016of atoms on the end of a full stop. Basically it's trillions and trillions of atoms! Atoms can join together to form molecules. There are three states of matter:

  • Solid
  • Liquid
  • Gas

As a solid, the atoms are in a fixed position and only have enough energy to vibrate. As a liquid, the atoms have enough energy to roll around over each other but don't have enough energy to completely break free from each other. However, in a gas, the atoms break away from each other and 'whizz' off in all directions.

Leaves are used to identify a plant.
Leaves are used to identify a plant. | Source

Living Things

Living things, what are they? Living things are animals and plants, bacteria or fungi, anything that lives, basically. There are seven characteristics of living things that can determine whether a thing is actually 'a living thing'. You can identify a living thing through seven characteristics:

  • Nutrition - how living things get their food.
  • Excretion - getting rid of wastes in cells and in the body.
  • Respiration - making energy from the food we eat
  • Response - reacting and responding to changes in their environment
  • Growth - is cells dividing
  • Reproduction - making new individuals of the same kind.
  • Movement - moving from place to place through running, walking, swimming etc.

So, what are some examples of living things? Here are the main ones:

  • Bacteria
  • Fungi
  • Animals
  • Plants

The animal kingdom is divided into two categories, vertebrates and invertebrates. Vertebrates are animals that have a backbone. Examples would include reptiles, fish, humans, dogs, cats, primates. Invertebrates are animals that do not contain a backbone. Examples would include insects, crabs, earthworms.

Let's say that you are walking in the forest or a field and you come across a flower or insect that you cannot name or identify. Well, you pull out your trust key! What is a key you may ask?Animals and plants can be identified using a key. A key is like a series of questions that you g through, eventually leading you to the animal or plant that you are trying to identify.



Ships float because they are less dense than water.
Ships float because they are less dense than water. | Source

Density

This is a physics topic. What is physics all about, anyway? It is about learning about how things work, why a ball falls to the ground, how lightning occurs, why a hundred thousand tonne ships actually float on water, why do rainbows form. All these things have actually been explained by physics. Students in school, may find this subject a little boring simply because they say it is too 'difficult'. This is certainly not the case! Physics is entirely very easy, if you have it explained properly! The first thing we are going to cover is density. Did you ever wonder why an enormous, heavy-weight ship could float on water or why a small apple sinks? All this will be explained.

Which is heavier lead or feathers? They are both the same, sounds strange doesn't it? Bear that is mind for later. This is an unfair question because I never stated how much lead or feathers. A full tonne of feathers will weigh the same as a small cuboid of lead. What can we learn? We can learn that lead more packed, more condensed, more dense. So the density of a substance is its mass per unit volume, that is how much matter there is in a certain amount of that substance. So, the feathers are not as dense as a piece of lead, you need a huge amount to weigh the same as a piece of lead. What about a ship? Why does that not sink in water? It is very heavy so why not? It is because the ships density is a lot less than the density of the entire ocean that stretches for miles and miles. Think of the volume of water there so the ship's weight or density would not affect it at all. Also, an apple will sink in water because its density is a lot larger than the density of the water itself.

EXPERIMENT: In case you ever need to find the density of a substance in the future, you find the mass of that substance using a weighing scales. Then find the volume (length x width x height). Divide the mass by the volume and that is your density!

Also, the density of water is 1 g/cm3Substances that have a density lower than water include cork and paraffin oil and substances with densities higher than water include lead, copper and gold.

Same goes for icebergs.
Same goes for icebergs.

Looking Forward To The Future

This is a beginning to a whole new series so I will have more coming up for you. Make sure to check back for more in the series and please leave your comments below! Thank you for reading.

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