Reflection: Problem-based Approaches States of Matter Goop Investigation - Section 3: Extend


KISS Rule Simple vs Complex

Problem-based approaches inject investigations with authenticity, anticipation and even competition. These problems can be simple or complex and still effect the desired outcome of engaged students applying their understanding to solve science-based problems. The problem in this investigation is super simple. All year we have been framing our investigations within the theme of water parks. In this case, the problem is:

Bob (our class mascot) finds some goop in the pool at the water park. When he picks it up, he can’t figure out its state of matter, which he thinks might help him identify it. Help Bob figure out the state of matter.

In addition to a simple problem, the procedure is simple and the data analysis is simple. Keeping it simple can help limit intellectual fatigue and may just be a more efficient way to reach the same desired outcome as the more complicated counterpart lesson. My experiment in keeping it simple paid off this time! Students had fun, classified matter into different states and arguing their findings, which shows they advanced their understanding.

  Simple versus Complex: Problem-Based Approaches
  Problem-based Approaches: Simple versus Complex: Problem-Based Approaches
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States of Matter Goop Investigation

Unit 6: Properties of Matter
Lesson 12 of 14

Objective: SWBAT apply their knowledge of states of matter to identify the state of matter of unknown substances.

Big Idea: Goop and oobleck! Students explore physical state as a property of matter to answer: What state of matter are they?

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